Definition of accept in English:



  • 1Consent to receive (a thing offered)

    ‘he accepted a pen as a present’
    • ‘He was delighted when Edinburgh Council agreed to accept the nativity scene sculpture and to display it in such a prominent position.’
    • ‘The Gillow bookcases in the Billiard Room were also accepted in lieu of tax.’
    • ‘For me, that moment was walking up the steps to the podium to accept the World Cup at home in Paris.’
    • ‘Each individual job seeker approaches the job search in unique ways, so too will each one of you use your personal approach to accepting a job offer.’
    • ‘He worked there from 1981 to 1983 before accepting a position with Old Austin Country Club, where he worked until 1986.’
    • ‘Some employees feel coerced into accepting a supervisory position that they are not ready to fill-one reason being the higher compensation that accompanies it.’
    • ‘Donations were accepted on behalf of the bereaved.’
    • ‘In April 2000 Popa accepted a position with the City of Birmingham Gymnastics Club.’
    • ‘Dr. D, a young psychiatrist living with bipolar illness, had just accepted a faculty position in town.’
    • ‘In accepting the position, he told the Board that he had at long last made his dearly departed mother very proud.’
    • ‘He has recently accepted a position as campaign manager for a candidate for United States senate.’
    • ‘Most of my graduating students in science are having an uphill battle getting a job, and many are accepting positions they would not have considered five years ago.’
    • ‘Finally, she meets her secret friend face-to-face, accepts the book and thanks him for all he has done for David.’
    • ‘She accepted the position, and two years later, she took over as manager of the OR at the hospital's city campus.’
    • ‘I accepted the gift from him after being sure he had gotten permission to give it away.’
    • ‘She wanted to wait a year before accepting the position, so she could have time to be home with her baby.’
    • ‘Before accepting the faculty position, he also had worked with Sharpe for 12 years at Skidmore.’
    • ‘Jane accepts the position gratefully, even though it is monotonous, poor and obscure.’
    • ‘I accepted the position with one caveat: I wanted to have the blessing of my company and of the people I work for here.’
    • ‘For the next three years she oversaw the Czech Republic's developmental team, eventually accepting a coaching position in Florida.’
    receive, agree to receive, welcome, take, take receipt of, get, gain, obtain, acquire, come by
    take on, take up, undertake, tackle, take on oneself, shoulder, bear, assume, manage, take responsibility for, be responsible for, engage in, become involved in, take part in, participate in, devote oneself to, concentrate on, address oneself to, go about, set about, approach, handle, get down to, deal with, get to grips with
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    1. 1.1 Give an affirmative answer to (an offer or proposal); say yes to.
      ‘he would accept their offer and see what happened’
      no object ‘Tim offered Brian a lift home and he accepted’
      • ‘Villagers have been warned they could lose their church if controversial phone mast proposals are not accepted.’
      • ‘Initially, employees refused to accept the government's proposal, claiming there was a lack of guarantees.’
      • ‘O'Halloran also expressed anger at UnionsWA for meekly accepting the new proposals.’
      • ‘He also urged councillors to accept the proposals for new special schools, which would also bring new primary schools.’
      • ‘The proposal was accepted and a policy was issued by Powell on behalf of the Defendants.’
      • ‘He said the union had no option but to accept the company's proposals.’
      • ‘His business proposal was accepted and he and his Spanish-based partner have invested more than 1m to kick-start that market.’
      • ‘The Council accepted BWG's proposal and a group of interested parties and individuals was set up.’
      • ‘The type of train system - the options include elevated, ground, monorail, light rail - would be decided before accepting proposals, he said.’
      • ‘They tell farmers that we should accept the proposals because the WTO cuts are going to happen anyway.’
      • ‘There is no difficulty here and we do not intend to accept that proposal.’
      • ‘Sports Minister John O'Donoghue has accepted a proposal to build Athy's new swimming pool on a green field site.’
      • ‘The proposals accepted by South Ayrshire Council in February include a casino, multiplex cinema and houses.’
      • ‘It accepted a proposal from the Roads and Docks Committee.’
      • ‘However, that proposal was not accepted by the Government either.’
      • ‘The proposal was accepted unanimously, as it was a few days later at the general International Socialist Congress.’
      • ‘If he accepts the proposal, the NIU would be left with only nine members and would lose its status as a group.’
      • ‘Labour sources have indicated they are likely to accept the proposals for free dental checks as part of a larger package to improve dental healthcare.’
      • ‘I'd be interested to learn why so few merger proposals are accepted.’
      • ‘A month ago, the company gave staff a month to accept proposals which are aimed at achieving cost savings.’
      take on, take up, undertake, tackle, take on oneself, shoulder, bear, assume, manage, take responsibility for, be responsible for, engage in, become involved in, take part in, participate in, devote oneself to, concentrate on, address oneself to, go about, set about, approach, handle, get down to, deal with, get to grips with
      say yes to, reply in the affirmative, agree to, comply with
      go along with, accede to, agree to, consent to, acquiesce in, concur with, assent to, endorse, comply with, abide by, follow, adhere to, conform to, act in accordance with, defer to, yield to, surrender to, bow to, give in to, submit to, respect, recognize, acknowledge, cooperate with, adopt
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    2. 1.2dated Say yes to a proposal of marriage from (a man)
      ‘what if Elizabeth accepted Darcy the first time?’
      • ‘He is not angry with her and says he feels lucky to be able to die in her arms and asks her to squeeze his hand if she accepts him as her husband.’
      • ‘She prefers her other suitor, George Neville, but when Griffith loses his inheritance for her sake she accepts him, hoping for a contented marriage without undue submission.’
      • ‘Not long ago she would have denied him, but she had finally accepted him.’
      • ‘He was surprised by the way she accepted him so readily, but he wasn't about to question her behavior when he was so overwhelmed.’
      • ‘She also felt more than a little guilty thinking these sorts of thoughts towards Ian when she had so recently accepted Dan as her beau.’
      • ‘Jane accepts Edward Rochester's hand in marriage, they linger in the garden for a few more moments, kissing.’
      • ‘She knew she was being selfish for accepting him, for making him pay for her folly, but she was simply not strong enough to refuse him a second time.’
      • ‘He hated how she made him think she accepted him, and then crushed all his hopes and smiled triumphantly as he walked away dejected.’
      • ‘If I did that that would be as good as accepting him in marriage and I would never marry without love.’
      • ‘After Lucilla accepts him, he learns that their fathers planned their marriage when they were mere tots.’
    3. 1.3 Receive as adequate, valid, or suitable.
      ‘the college accepted her as a student’
      ‘credit cards are widely accepted’
      • ‘Other American students who have not yet been accepted to college use a gap year specifically to build their resumes.’
      • ‘He had been accepted to a good college somewhere in Florida and would be leaving in a few short months to get settled into a dorm.’
      • ‘You've been accepted into the best college and you're not going?’
      • ‘We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Spellstones College of Sorcery and Witchcraft.’
      • ‘Other Faculties, notably Arts and Science, did not limit numbers so much as accept any student who met certain criteria.’
      • ‘The number can be used from anywhere in the world, when dealing with any merchant who accepts Visa.’
      • ‘However, official statistics show that there are just 3107 locations that accept Visa cards in Bulgaria.’
      • ‘Katie Charing, currently on a gap year, has been accepted into Somerville College, Oxford to study English.’
      • ‘Somehow or another I managed to get the right combination of honours and passes to be accepted at college.’
      • ‘You know, how your big sis worked really hard and finally got accepted by the college of her dreams?’
      • ‘But for children of farmers in China, it is not easy to be accepted to college for higher education.’
      • ‘If he wants to accept Visa charge cards, that's the cut Higgins must forfeit.’
      • ‘He may not accept Visa or Mastercard, but his service and efficiency is priceless.’
      • ‘He's just going through the motions, like a high school senior who's already been accepted to college.’
      • ‘All with the convenience of a card that has your name on it and is accepted anywhere they accept Visa.’
      • ‘Use the cash cards at stores where Visa is accepted, on-line and at ATMs.’
      • ‘On finishing secondary school I was accepted for agricultural college.’
      • ‘She was accepted into the Aksorn College of Technology for a diploma course in Business Computing.’
      • ‘But now, the only thing that matters is that I've been accepted into Boston College and now I can relax for a bit.’
      • ‘Accepted everywhere Visa is accepted so the recipient can buy exactly what they want.’
    4. 1.4 Regard favorably or with approval; welcome.
      ‘the Harvard literati never accepted him as one of them’
      • ‘I've seen too much so I know that a woman who I've never met wouldn't willingly accept me.’
      • ‘Nicoli had told her the society in London would accept her if Montague approved her.’
      • ‘Jenny has four children aged 25-30 from a previous marriage and she says they all accept Kevin.’
      • ‘He feels as though he is accepted in this community, he belongs.’
      • ‘Laughter and agreement came from the 4 men at the table, and Parker knew he was now accepted by the other men.’
      • ‘Not everyone is going to accept us for our beliefs, but so long as we try to embrace them and let them learn we are in the right.’
      • ‘Gee, does that mean I'm accepted into your approved pigpen of the cognoscenti?’
      • ‘Faily had apparently claimed her into his gang, and Ainé had been accepted and welcomed by the rest of his gang.’
      • ‘I am not asking you to accept me, just if at all possible tolerate me.’
      • ‘And, marvelously, he accepts us and welcomes us to his table of grace.’
      • ‘He knows all are sinners and believes Jesus accepts all.’
      • ‘I love the people at my church; they have welcomed me and accepted me as one of their own very quickly.’
      • ‘Chris was a good guy who accepted Jerry while no one else would.’
      • ‘And if it does, you can't expect everyone to stand around and accept you as you are.’
      • ‘The simple truth is, most people I've come across HAVEN'T accepted me or my beliefs.’
      • ‘Jeez, Ashlyn, is it impossible to believe he accepts you now?’
      • ‘The Supporters Club was accepted by Spurs and is now officially affiliated to the famous English League Club.’
      welcome, greet, let in, receive, receive favourably, embrace, offer friendship to, adopt, integrate
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    5. 1.5 (of a thing) be designed to allow (something) to be inserted or applied.
      ‘vending machines that accepted 100-yen coins for cans of beer’
      • ‘The only recorded fault on any of the machines in October was on Wednesday October 20 when one of the machines would not accept coins.’
      • ‘However, she said it would still accept debit cards and allow transactions to be made through other card readers in the store.’
      • ‘‘But if machines are accepting the Thai coins, then they have left those margins too wide,’ Mr Whoriskey said.’
      • ‘It also accepts pre Euro coins and both can be left at the Pet Proud shop in Eyre Street, Newbridge.’
      • ‘The phone would not accept the card in any direction we inserted it.’
      • ‘But this machine accepts only coins of the denominations Re. 1 and Rs.5.’
  • 2Believe or come to recognize (an opinion, explanation, etc.) as valid or correct.

    ‘this tentative explanation came to be accepted by the group’
    with clause ‘it is accepted that aging is a continuous process’
    • ‘Yet if we accept the proposition that we live in a global economy, we need to consider how we're going to make our voices heard.’
    • ‘Kekulé's theory was not entirely correct but was accepted for many years.’
    • ‘For my part I would accept those propositions as broadly correct.’
    • ‘This goes against all accepted principles of counselling.’
    • ‘I am entitled to speak to an audience who I know accepts my fundamental premises.’
    • ‘He accepts the proposition that he instinctively warms to people he perceives as battlers against the system.’
    • ‘In spite of this obvious contradiction the time paradox was enthusiastically accepted.’
    • ‘She accepted this as a correct empirical finding.’
    • ‘To believe that, one would have to accept the premise that forests need loggers in order to thrive.’
    • ‘It is now widely accepted that CO2 emission is a kind of pollution.’
    • ‘Gloucester believed the tale and accepted the ‘miracle’ as a sign that he was meant to live.’
    • ‘We also want a system that is based on sound principles accepted by the broad community.’
    • ‘With a swift nod Hope accepted this as correct and began to help Faith once more.’
    • ‘Judge Paul Hoffman accepted Lane was ‘a thoroughly decent young man’ with no previous convictions until the accident.’
    • ‘Berkeley believes that this premise is accepted by all the modern philosophers.’
    • ‘Professional practice may change over time so that what was once accepted as the correct procedure is no longer considered to be respectable or responsible.’
    • ‘Our word of caution to the aspirants is to accept that the positions of Member of Parliament are limited and there can only be one person at a time.’
    • ‘Only in the last four or five years has that idea been recognized and accepted by other museums, the architect pointed out.’
    • ‘And as he prepares to return to former club Cambridge United tomorrow, the 33-year-old accepts City are reaching a vital period in their campaign.’
    • ‘His ideas have not been widely accepted in London.’
    recognized, acknowledged, traditional, orthodox, habitual, confirmed, set, fixed, settled
    believe, trust, give credence to, credit, give credit to, put confidence in, be convinced of, have faith in, count on, rely on, depend on
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    1. 2.1 Take upon oneself (a responsibility or liability); acknowledge.
      ‘Jenkins is willing to accept his responsibility’
      with clause ‘he accepts that he made a mistake’
      • ‘It was a shameful thing for Jim to admit, but he accepted responsibility for what he had done.’
      • ‘Expensive furniture and fittings have been ruined in the flood, but their problems will not be solved with a mop and bucket - because no-one is accepting responsibility for the faulty sewage pipe.’
      • ‘A true leader is one who, without any qualms, accepts the responsibility for a failure.’
      • ‘The Metropolitan Police accepts full responsibility for this.’
      • ‘Don't try this at home, folks - and the Evening Press would like to stress that it accepts no responsibility for those taking part in the firewalk, who do so at their own risk.’
      • ‘Last month her lawyers said the Ministry of Defence had accepted liability for her husband's death.’
      • ‘The Department head Ric Smith says he accepts responsibility.’
      • ‘In the same way Trowbridge Rugby Club accepts the responsibility for making rugby available to the youth of the area.’
      • ‘My Lord, that is agreed and I accept the liability to pay costs.’
      • ‘Every department blames the other and no one accepts responsibility.’
      • ‘It accepts no responsibility for any political outcomes.’
      • ‘In turn, local managers, clinicians and decision-makers need to get better at accepting responsibility and initiating and driving forward improvement and change.’
      • ‘They prefer to point the finger of blame elsewhere, and refuse to accept responsibility for their role in allowing sectarianism to prosper.’
      • ‘And he came forward and immediately confessed and accepted his responsibility.’
      • ‘Surely any deficiency in the Pension Fund was the sole responsibility of the Wiltshire County Council and they should have accepted liability.’
      • ‘To legalise it in that form would be to accept liability and sooner or later the court cases would flood in.’
      • ‘The payment, which the Department for Education and Skills said it was making without accepting liability, was in respect of his libel and unfair dismissal claims.’
      • ‘The Prime Minister's told the 7.30 Report, he accepts responsibility.’
      • ‘He added: ‘Cliff accepts full responsibility, and we are willing to put out another leaflet apologising for the mistake.’’
      • ‘It's time we went back to accepting responsibility for our own actions.’
      acknowledge, admit, concede, grant, allow, own, say, declare, affirm, recognize, be aware of, be aware that, realize, be conscious of, be conscious that
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    2. 2.2 Tolerate or submit to (something unpleasant or undesired)
      ‘they accepted the need to cut expenses’
      • ‘Buddhism first asks us not only to see the momentary and suffering character of the world, but also to have tolerance in accepting suffering as natural and not negative.’
      • ‘We're not accepting or tolerating homophobia, xenophobia, racism, any of that.’
      • ‘As Americans now contemplate the road ahead, they need to accept three unpleasant facts.’
      • ‘Many things that were not to be tolerated in a civilised society in 1968 are now accepted - if not always welcomed.’
      • ‘He accepted their silence tolerantly and moved in to stand beside Kaezik.’
      • ‘After a while, she sort of grudgingly accepts him, and their relationship provides much of the comic relief in the series.’
      • ‘Indications are the weapons inspectors will be accepted but hardly welcomed when they arrive Monday in Baghdad.’
      • ‘To what extent then, as a country and people, are we prepared to accept and tolerate shamelessness in public life?’
      • ‘It has to be accepted that cannabis is widely used and is seen by many as relatively harmless.’
      • ‘In the 10 ½ years that he's been in jail, he hasn't once moaned - he's accepted his sentence.’
      • ‘But this social system is paid for with much higher taxes than I believe would be accepted in the United States.’
      tolerate, endure, put up with, suffer, bear, take, stand, support, submit to, stomach, undergo, swallow
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Accept, which means ‘take (that which is offered),’ may be confused with the verb except, which means ‘exclude.’ Thus: I accept the terms of your offer, but I wish to except the clause calling for repayment of the deposit


Late Middle English: from Latin acceptare, frequentative of accipere ‘take something to oneself’, from ad- ‘to’ + capere ‘take’.