Definition of acquaintance in English:

acquaintance

noun

  • 1[mass noun] Knowledge or experience of something:

    ‘the pupils had little acquaintance with the language’
    • ‘I left feeling a bit cheated, but in the following days renewed my acquaintance with the Shostakovich concerto - encouraged by the memory of an inspired performance.’
    • ‘Caresses marks my first acquaintance with the work of the Catalan playwright Sergi Belbel - and I am certainly richer for the introduction.’
    • ‘It's appalling to think that a book like this may enter classrooms and inflict itself on young minds with little or no acquaintance with art history.’
    • ‘Next it brought an experimental acquaintance with grace and forgiveness.’
    • ‘Black manages to compress a good deal into a limited space, calling on his thorough acquaintance with a vast array of primary sources.’
    • ‘Our first acquaintance with power is, presumably, our experience of the power of personal agency.’
    • ‘The result was Donovan's renewed acquaintance with the world of the bohemian café, a world of poetry and music, philosophy and social politics, meditation and art.’
    • ‘It was a fine achievement and I hope the singers enjoyed singing it as much as I enjoyed the opportunity of renewing my acquaintance with this excellent piece.’
    • ‘Some had experience of Frankish Gaul and hence some acquaintance with Roman institutions and culture.’
    • ‘Long acquaintance with a work is therefore essential.’
    • ‘Should the rest of us trust what we see on television when our acquaintance with a case is confined to that little bit of testimony that is billed as a confession?’
    • ‘While awaiting the widening of 16th Avenue N.W., you can broaden your acquaintance with poetry at Annie's Book Co.’
    • ‘I'm currently on leave, so I should obviously be using all this spare time renewing my acquaintance with children's telly, particularly if it's getting this risque.’
    • ‘Sentimental souls are invited to renew their acquaintance with the Warrumbungle National Park during its 50 year celebrations next month.’
    • ‘It was a moment of collective acquaintance with history and the past.’
    • ‘Intuition represents knowledge by ‘direct acquaintance with things.’’
    • ‘Despite the title, this play adds little to our knowledge or appreciation of Beckett although assuming a fairly comprehensive acquaintance with his works.’
    • ‘After graduating from Paris, Burman returned to India to renew his acquaintance with the tradition of the art and the culture of his native land.’
    • ‘Long acquaintance with her own profession makes her impatient with fantasists and phonies.’
    • ‘Anyone who has any acquaintance with the Bible will know that prophets regularly used strong language when confronted with hypocrisy or decadence.’
    familiarity, conversance, conversancy, contact, acquaintanceship
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Slight knowledge of or friendship with someone:
      ‘I renewed my acquaintance with Herbert’
      • ‘If, during the course of the night, you happen to meet two philosophical ladies of your acquaintance, it is important that you conduct yourself respectably.’
      • ‘If you get some special facilities because of your acquaintance with the doctor, don't make it public - have regard for the feelings and sentiments of other patients.’
      • ‘With the renewal of his acquaintance with her, Jean's life takes a new turn.’
      • ‘One fellow London-dweller of my acquaintance said recently she was finally decamping from the city.’
      • ‘She has difficulty believing the rumours of her husband's acquaintance with the infamous Mrs. Erlynne, but yields to the rumours anyways in hope of finding true love.’
      • ‘Many shooters use nothing else, One young fellow of my acquaintance, an avid shooter and hunter, mentioned he had never owned a wood-stocked rifle.’
      • ‘His telling anecdotes draw on years of personal acquaintance with key figures, and alert attendance at arcane, cultish tech conferences.’
      • ‘As soon as the statement was issued to the press, however, anyone enjoying even the slightest acquaintance with the player recognised that the words were not his.’
      • ‘When his marriage is disrupted by the renewal of his acquaintance with Shimamoto, it comes back to haunt him.’
      • ‘Very clever, Valda, though some professional magicians of my acquaintance manage this trick with much more aplomb and good humor.’
      • ‘Now, because of her acquaintance with Moher, Zalie was looked at as if she were one of the most important people ever born.’
      • ‘After all, the ladies of your acquaintance belong to high society.’
      • ‘Now, have you had opportunities, in the course of your acquaintance with Mr. Favreau, to watch him walk?’
      • ‘Over the five years of our acquaintance with her, Fanny avoids pregnancy when it would be professionally inconvenient.’
      • ‘I genuinely love the company of women, unlike certain misogynistic Lotharios of my acquaintance.’
      • ‘Early in his career he had made the mistake, at the outset of his acquaintance with a lady, of telling her that he loved her and exacting the same avowal in return.’
      • ‘It was lovely to renew acquaintance with Gareth Edwards in particular, possibly the greatest ever scrum half, whose fine Welsh accent endears him.’
      • ‘My acquaintance with her just before she entered government made the experience particularly alarming.’
      • ‘She despises George and is diverted by the renewal of her acquaintance with the rakish Judge Brack who offers the possibility of flirting, gossip and intrigue.’
      • ‘It was the most amazing part of his acquaintance with her yet.’
      association, relationship, contact, social contact
      View synonyms
  • 2A person one knows slightly, but who is not a close friend:

    ‘a wide circle of friends and acquaintances’
    • ‘He had big-name friends, acquaintances, mistresses and more book deals waiting.’
    • ‘Friends and acquaintances would comment that we were more like sisters.’
    • ‘I leave behind a number of acquaintances and two close friends who have lived every moment of this ordeal with me.’
    • ‘All my friends and regular acquaintances are smarter than me on all sorts of different levels.’
    • ‘Most of the friends and acquaintances he contacted said they were not interested.’
    • ‘The people I called friends, more close acquaintances, left for university.’
    • ‘Most people are content with having more acquaintances and very few friends.’
    • ‘In some ways it is not the close friends but the acquaintances I miss the most.’
    • ‘His death evoked widespread regret and shock amongst his many friends and acquaintances.’
    • ‘There were also several friends and acquaintances who knew Robert well.’
    • ‘I'm finding that with a lot of my friends or acquaintances going back to school, I miss it.’
    • ‘I have observed something completely different within my own circle of friends and acquaintances.’
    • ‘Now they have and they are really enjoying meeting and greeting old friends and acquaintances.’
    • ‘Most of my friends and acquaintances are anti-war or at least uncomfortable about it.’
    • ‘It's inevitable that as one moves from one place to another, it is easy to lose touch with friends and acquaintances.’
    • ‘And the news from business partners, friends and acquaintances in America is similar.’
    • ‘People who have had that sort of bad experience are reluctant to return and warn off their friends and acquaintances as well.’
    • ‘The list seems to go on and is not just limited to my immediate circle of family, friends and acquaintances.’
    • ‘The rest of the male participants were thought to be friends, acquaintances and hangers on.’
    • ‘To give an example from the purely personal level, an elderly female acquaintance of mine does not drink coffee.’
    • ‘An average day for her exhausts the topics of friends, acquaintances, drawing and books.’
    contact, associate, connection, ally, colleague
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[mass noun] Acquaintances considered collectively:
      ‘his extensive acquaintance included Oscar Wilde and Yeats’
      • ‘So basically, you look at the family members, acquaintance, or a total stranger.’
      • ‘Djuna Barnes was one of the bohemian set in 1920 and 30s Paris, and her creative circle of acquaintance included Gertrude Stein.’
      • ‘In such terms Mr Gradgrind always mentally introduced himself, whether to his private circle of acquaintance, or to the public in general.’
      • ‘His varied acquaintance included Boswell, Bentham, Godwin, Paine, and Coleridge.’
      • ‘It is striking to realize how much of this material is personal-not subjective, but rather framed by her own family history or immediate acquaintance.’
      • ‘He could have included elite journalists in that circle of acquaintance.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘mutual knowledge, being acquainted’): from Old French acointance, from acointier make known (see acquaint).

Pronunciation:

acquaintance

/əˈkweɪnt(ə)ns/