[ uh-kweyn-tns ]
See synonyms for acquaintance on
  1. a person known to one, but usually not a close friend.

  2. the state of being acquainted or casually familiar with someone or something: As far as I know, no one of my acquaintance has traveled around the world.

  1. personal knowledge as a result of study, experience, etc.: a good acquaintance with French wines.

  2. (used with a plural verb) the persons with whom one is acquainted.

Origin of acquaintance

1250–1300; Middle English aqueinta(u)nce, acoyntaunce<Old French acointance.See acquaint, -ance
  • Also ac·quaint·ance·ship (for defs. 2, 3) .

synonym study For acquaintance

1. Acquaintance, associate, companion, friend refer to a person with whom one is in contact. An acquaintance is someone recognized by sight or someone known, though not intimately: a casual acquaintance. An associate is a person who is often in one's company, usually because of some work, enterprise, or pursuit in common: a business associate. A companion is a person who shares one's activities, fate, or condition: a traveling companion; companion in despair. A friend is a person with whom one is on intimate terms and for whom one feels a warm affection: a trusted friend.

Other words for acquaintance

Other words from acquaintance

  • non·ac·quaint·ance, noun
  • non·ac·quaint·ance·ship, noun
  • pre·ac·quaint·ance, noun
  • pseu·do·ac·quaint·ance, noun
  • re·ac·quaint·ance, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use acquaintance in a sentence

  • He would go out and secure orders there at home among his friends and acquaintances.

    The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
  • There was a host of friends and acquaintances around the little home, making merry and admiring the baby.

  • In a dream he crossed the crowded hall, avoiding various acquaintances with unconscious cunning.

    The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
  • They gardened, they drove out, they rowed and sailed upon the lake, but they declined all acquaintances.

  • At first I almost perished with loneliness, but now that I have a few acquaintances here I am enjoying it.

British Dictionary definitions for acquaintance


/ (əˈkweɪntəns) /

  1. a person with whom one has been in contact but who is not a close friend

  2. knowledge of a person or thing, esp when slight

  1. make the acquaintance of to come into social contact with

  2. those persons collectively whom one knows

  3. philosophy the relation between a knower and the object of his knowledge, as contrasted with knowledge by description (esp in the phrase knowledge by acquaintance)

Derived forms of acquaintance

  • acquaintanceship, noun

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with acquaintance


see nodding acquaintance; scrape up an acquaintance.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.