verb (used with object), ac·knowl·edged, ac·knowl·edg·ing.

Origin of acknowledge

1475–85; acknowleche, apparently either Middle English aknou(en) to recognize (Old English oncnāwan; see a-1, know1) + -leche noun suffix (Old English *-lǣce, by-form of -lac; cf. knowledge, wedlock); or blend of aknouen and knouleche knowledge; then a- was mistaken for ac-
Related formsac·knowl·edge·a·ble, adjectiveac·knowl·edg·er, nounpre·ac·knowl·edge, verb (used with object), pre·ac·knowl·edged, pre·ac·knowl·edg··ac·knowl·edge, verb (used with object), re·ac·knowl·edged, re·ac·knowl·edg·ing.un·ac·knowl·edg·ing, adjective

Synonyms for acknowledge

Synonym study

1. Acknowledge, admit, confess agree in the idea of declaring something to be true. Acknowledge implies making a statement reluctantly, often about something previously denied: to acknowledge a fault. Admit especially implies acknowledging something under pressure: to admit a charge. Confess usually means stating somewhat formally an admission of wrongdoing, crime, or shortcoming: to confess guilt; to confess an inability to understand.

Antonyms for acknowledge Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acknowledges

Contemporary Examples of acknowledges

Historical Examples of acknowledges

  • He acknowledges his folly for having ever spoken lightly of matrimony.

    Clarissa, Volume 2 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • Later on, too, he intervenes in France and acknowledges the legitimacy of the Republic.

  • The Israelite Issa acknowledges the crime of which he is accused.

  • It also acknowledges that many differences of kind are resolvable into differences of degree.



  • Simmias acknowledges that there is cowardice in not probing truth to the bottom.



British Dictionary definitions for acknowledges


verb (tr)

(may take a clause as object) to recognize or admit the existence, truth, or reality of
to indicate recognition or awareness of, as by a greeting, glance, etc
to express appreciation or thanks forto acknowledge a gift
to make the receipt of known to the senderto acknowledge a letter
to recognize, esp in legal form, the authority, rights, or claims of
Derived Formsacknowledgeable, adjectiveacknowledger, noun

Word Origin for acknowledge

C15: probably from earlier knowledge, on the model of Old English oncnāwan, Middle English aknowen to confess, recognize
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for acknowledges



1550s, a blend of Middle English aknow (from Old English oncnawan "understand," from on + cnawan "recognize;" see know) and Middle English knowlechen "admit, acknowledge" (c.1200; see knowledge). In the merger, a parasitic -c- slipped in, so that while the kn- became a simple "n" sound (as in know), the -c- stepped up to preserve, in this word, the ancient "kn-" sound. Related: Acknowledged; acknowledging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper