a slight, incomplete, or superficial knowledge (of something or someone): He had only a nodding acquaintance with Italian and didn't trust it to get him through the tour. Although we were neighbors for several years, we had only a nodding acquaintance.
a person with whom one is only slightly acquainted: I don't really know what he's like—he's only a nodding acquaintance.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use nodding acquaintance in a sentence
I had a nodding acquaintance with His Grace, whom I had once attended for scarlatina when he was a midshipman.
Now I did not know him very well, and the Bish had only a nodding acquaintance with him, but he greeted us as long-lost brothers.Fore! | Charles Emmett Van Loan
He could pick out the critics as they came down the aisle, and even had a nodding acquaintance with two of them.The Best Short Stories of 1917 | Various
Marie had a nodding acquaintance with this neighbour of hers and no more.Local Color | Irvin S. Cobb
But it can help; it can give it at least a nodding acquaintance there.The Whirligig of Time | Wayland Wells Williams
Other Idioms and Phrases with nodding acquaintance
Superficial knowledge of someone or something, as in I have a nodding acquaintance with the company president, or She has a nodding acquaintance with that software program. This expression alludes to knowing someone just well enough to nod or bow upon meeting him or her. “Early 1800s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.