Definition of acknowledge in US English:



  • 1reporting verb Accept or admit the existence or truth of.

    with object ‘the plight of the refugees was acknowledged by the authorities’
    with clause ‘the government acknowledged that the tax was unfair’
    with direct speech ‘“That's true,” she acknowledged’
    • ‘A fall in some crimes in South Yorkshire has brought praise from the police authority, which has acknowledged that more work needs to be done to reduce violent offences.’
    • ‘He acknowledged that there was some basis in truth to the allegations made regarding the woman.’
    • ‘A Department of the Environment spokesperson acknowledged that some local authorities could enforce the litter laws more effectively.’
    • ‘Bishop Murray's Pastoral Letter acknowledges the difficulty that many parishioners have found at this time of change for the Church in Limerick.’
    • ‘At the post-summit press conference he acknowledged that the measures agreed were not a complete answer to the problem of illegal immigration.’
    • ‘Last night, local authority chiefs acknowledged that, unless buildings were deemed to pose a risk to the public, they were unlikely to be considered a priority.’
    • ‘She admitted that some of her videotaped statement was incorrect and acknowledged that she gave false evidence at the preliminary inquiry.’
    • ‘A spokeswoman acknowledged that allowing embryos to be tested to save a seriously ill brother or sister was a complex issue.’
    • ‘Realizing she had just acknowledged that there actually was an intruder, Alexis clamped her mouth shut.’
    • ‘The authority acknowledged that the advert was ‘intended to be humorous’ and was unlikely to cause widespread offence.’
    • ‘Speaking privately, authority officials acknowledged that conditions in some places are so inhumane that they probably violate international law.’
    • ‘We welcome the fact that the minister has acknowledged that it is not acceptable that NHS staff become victims of abuse by patients.’
    • ‘The health officer acknowledged that dozens of refugees had fallen sick due to lack of food, medicine, clean water, bedding and sanitation.’
    • ‘The government refuses to acknowledge her husband died of Gulf War Syndrome.’
    • ‘Each individual will receive a personal letter of apology, acknowledging the harm caused by the process.’
    • ‘It is a truth universally acknowledged that American politics runs in generational cycles.’
    • ‘He acknowledged that allowing customers to skip past adverts was an issue with advertisers.’
    admit, accept, grant, allow, concede, confess, own, appreciate, recognize, realize, be aware of, be conscious of
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  • 2with object (of a body of opinion) recognize the fact or importance or quality of.

    ‘the art world has begun to acknowledge his genius’
    ‘he's generally acknowledged to be the game's finest coach’
    • ‘They want to know which film would help them become successful and when they will be acknowledged as the best actors.’
    • ‘Following his second one-man show in Paris in 1883, Monet began to be acknowledged as the foremost landscape painter of his day.’
    • ‘The Austrian Ingeborg Bachmann has been acknowledged as the most important German-speaking poet of the twentieth century.’
    • ‘The North Pennines was once the lead mining centre of the world and the ruined traces of abandoned lead mines are now acknowledged as an intrinsic part of the landscape and its heritage.’
    • ‘Ryan acknowledged the importance of quality childcare provision and family support and the influence it had on the life chances of children was becoming more and more evident in society.’
    • ‘The Hunt Museum collection has been acknowledged as one of the most important private collections in the State, and includes works by Renoir, Picasso and Yeats.’
    • ‘Early childhood, care and education is today acknowledged as a crucial input for laying the foundation for a child's life-long development.’
    • ‘Neither was acknowledged as true literature; they were clearly outside the canon.’
    • ‘Sir David Frost is acknowledged as one of the best known television interviewers in the world and next month's interview is likely to prove an engaging one between two veterans.’
    • ‘In an era where competition has become intense, quality has come to be acknowledged as the key to maintaining an edge over rivals.’
    • ‘A professional musician for near enough to thirty years at this stage, Jimmy Crowley is truly acknowledged as one of Ireland's finest folk and trad entertainers.’
    • ‘Though grateful for the credit and encouragement he receives from mostly female friends, Wood is frustrated by a society that refuses to acknowledge men as capable child carers.’
    • ‘The event consists of 36 holes qualifying followed by six round of match play so its an opportunity see Irelands top amateur golfers tested over what is acknowledged as a true test of golf.’
    • ‘Cream never did reunite, but are rightfully acknowledged as the earliest incarnations of blues-based hard rock bands, soon to become a staple of the rock diet.’
    • ‘He has been acknowledged as one of Canada's foremost visionaries and entrepreneurs and is also identified as an influential and passionate activist for all levels of academia.’
    • ‘Golds is acknowledged as a leading firm in banking, property and corporate law.’
    • ‘In the years since its 1988 release, Fisherman's Blues has been acknowledged as an important staging post in the rebirth of folk music.’
    • ‘They want Edinburgh to be acknowledged as the most important city, the capital indeed, of northern Europe.’
    • ‘He said that for its first 20 years, the club was located at Gotham before moving to Deerpark, where it is acknowledged as one of the finest courses in the country.’
    • ‘The show is acknowledged as one of the most important events in the car calendar.’
    1. 2.1 Express or display gratitude for or appreciation of.
      ‘he received a letter acknowledging his services’
      • ‘Mrs Quinn received a Certificate of Thanks for all her hard work acknowledging her unstinting service to the local charity.’
      • ‘We do appreciate and acknowledge the yeoman service rendered by Sourav Ganguly as captain of the Indian cricket team.’
      • ‘The letter also acknowledges the majority of residents living in and around Rylandes Road who supported the project and recognises the negative reaction represents only a minority.’
      • ‘Since the release of the film Carter has made a point of acknowledging his gratitude to the Canadian group.’
      • ‘We would like to acknowledge our appreciation to Siobhan and her partner Liam for their kindness and hard work.’
      • ‘The international man, however, does always acknowledge his debt of gratitude to his parents and to the other members of his family.’
      • ‘In it were their letters of obligation, acknowledging her latest distribution of money and clothing and prodigal advice.’
      • ‘Shortly thereafter, I received a letter that acknowledged my work ‘on behalf of the commonwealth of God.’’
      • ‘The valuable support of Professor Philip Clarke, Dean, Faculty of Business and Law is also acknowledged with appreciation.’
      • ‘A thank you letter will be sent from the Section acknowledging Ed's service and requesting his involvement in the future as time allows.’
      • ‘The ‘toll’ is voluntary, and the committee wishes to acknowledge their appreciation to all who contribute.’
      • ‘Already a number of people have been in touch with the station headquarters in Ballyhaunis acknowledging the service.’
      • ‘Local firefighters were acknowledged for their long service at a special NSW Fire Brigades medal presentation in Lismore last Saturday.’
      • ‘Generally horse riders acknowledge their appreciation by raising their hands and smiling although there are the exceptions.’
      • ‘It is with great appreciation that Psychiatric Times acknowledges Dr. Gunderson for his work in planning and reviewing this special report.’
      • ‘We the staff would like to acknowledge our appreciation in your assistance in assuring that all equipment is returned after use to its appropriate home.’
      • ‘I thank them for their continuing dedication and hard work in generating most of the funds, which enable the Foundation to provide the service which is acknowledged and valued in both counties.’
      • ‘It is with much gratitude that Psychiatric Times acknowledges Dr. Moffic for his assistance in planning and reviewing this special report.’
      • ‘Government servants normally receive only brickbats and on rare occasions their services are acknowledged with a bouquet.’
      • ‘Appreciation was acknowledged of the club's sponsors and the community council.’
      express gratitude for, show appreciation for, give thanks for, thank someone for, pay tribute to someone for, salute someone for, toast someone for
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    2. 2.2 Accept the validity or legitimacy of.
      ‘Henry acknowledged Richard as his heir’
      • ‘His mother, who married after 1949, refused to acknowledge him.’
      • ‘The following month, Mary's first Parliament acknowledged the validity of Catherine of Aragon's marriage, by implication bastardizing Elizabeth once more.’
      • ‘Then Lord Elgin, his family and descendants of the noblemen who acknowledged the king's legitimate enthronement at the time, will dip their family flags in homage to the Bruce.’
      • ‘We speak the same language, understand the same cultural codes and implicitly acknowledge the validity of this type of academic product.’
      • ‘Do they acknowledge the legitimacy of the royal family?’
      • ‘Singh said before his kidnapping that he does not acknowledge the legitimacy of the court ruling.’
      • ‘In Norway she was not only made ruler for life, but her nephew, Eric of Pomerania, was acknowledged as the lawful heir.’
      • ‘Adam still came to my room, but he refused to acknowledge his own daughter which made me furious.’
      • ‘Here, if your father refuses to acknowledge you as his son, then you are named unwanted, and no one will accept you.’
      • ‘Most Asatru refuse to acknowledge it as legitimate.’
      • ‘They attack the term ‘amnesty’ for implicitly acknowledging the validity of borders.’
      • ‘Emotions expressed by the patient or their family members should be acknowledged and legitimized.’
      • ‘It is not that they were unwilling to acknowledge the written word as a legitimate source of learning and wisdom.’
      • ‘The stingy and selfish Nash refused to acknowledge his son and would not provide child support until Stier sued him.’
      • ‘The program has the expectation that young dads will legitimize their children by acknowledging paternity.’
      • ‘Marie refused to acknowledge her as a granddaughter, and there was the little matter of the missing Romanov assets that this possible new claimant could complicate.’
      • ‘This queen, the last of those whom the Patani chronicles acknowledge as legitimate, appears to have ruled into the 1650s.’
      • ‘Milosevic has refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of the court in any way, including refusing a lawyer.’
      • ‘Some parents refuse to acknowledge such sons as their progeny, and place adverts in newspapers proclaiming disavowal.’
      • ‘I am heartened that they have acknowledged the validity of our marriage.’
      recognized, admitted, accepted, approved, accredited, confirmed, declared, proclaimed, confessed, sworn, avowed
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  • 3with object Show that one has noticed or recognized (someone) by making a gesture or greeting.

    ‘she refused to acknowledge my presence’
    • ‘Shivering from his cold sweat, Erik refused to acknowledge Maria, instead he clamped his arms tightly to his body, trying not to tremble.’
    • ‘He is famous for refusing to acknowledge Elizabeth ever again after she eloped with Browning.’
    • ‘This year he upset families in a London restaurant by turning up with an entourage for a burger meal, swearing and again refusing to acknowledge fans.’
    • ‘He nodded his head acknowledging my friends presence and they giggled like idiots.’
    • ‘When the footsteps approached, Michael refused even to acknowledge the person.’
    • ‘‘Rutherford never notices or acknowledges anyone around him,’ Marc pointed out.’
    • ‘My frown slowly melted into a full fledged scowl at her ‘compliment’ and I bit the inside of my cheek, pointedly refusing to acknowledge her.’
    • ‘He's using all his techniques to try to engage this gorgeous girl but she is steadfastly refusing to acknowledge him.’
    • ‘I looked up, right at him, and didn't smile, wave, or even acknowledge him in any way.’
    • ‘Most of the people acknowledged David and greeted me.’
    • ‘She passed the captain and, refusing to acknowledge him, lifted her chin high and looked in the other direction.’
    • ‘Craven waved and smiled happily at Ms Markovich, but he refused to acknowledge his mother, who also sat in the public gallery.’
    • ‘I was aware of his stare but I refused to acknowledge him.’
    • ‘Whenever I go out, people refuse to acknowledge me if I start talking to them.’
    • ‘Connor walked into the room and I narrowed my eyes at him slightly but quickly looked away, refusing to acknowledge him further.’
    • ‘He called her name but she refused to acknowledge him.’
    • ‘It was an old bloke, who was refusing to acknowledge me.’
    • ‘I even refused to acknowledge him in the hallways, that's how hurt I was.’
    • ‘The hunter refused to acknowledge the farmer, so the farmer struck the Englishman, killing him.’
    • ‘The driver was clearly indignant that I hadn't avoided him, and refused to acknowledge the crowd of about 20 pedestrians, all shouting that he had jumped two red lights.’
    greet, salute, address, hail, accost
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    1. 3.1 Confirm (receipt of something).
      • ‘The letter was not acknowledged by Mr Griffiths and so Mr Stott wrote two further letters on February 12 and 24 confirming the firm was abiding by the guidelines.’
      • ‘Mark wrote a very nice letter, and I acknowledged it.’
      • ‘The rest of Council rejected her call to cancel the deal, and were unwilling to acknowledge the letter.’
      • ‘We wrote to them with the under mentioned remarks on March 5 and surprise, surprise no one has even bothered to acknowledge our letter.’
      • ‘I'm not sure she ever replied or even acknowledged the letter.’
      • ‘The agents did acknowledge the letter, saying that they would look into the matter and that they hoped to write again shortly.’
      • ‘The lady in question was upset that her letter had not been acknowledged and asked me to enquire on her behalf whether the letter had been received or not.’
      • ‘This is usually accomplished with a polite letter acknowledging the viewer's complaint, and promising it will be passed on to the relevant programme maker.’
      • ‘She received a letter back acknowledging the processing fees and advising that she could now apply for her holiday.’
      • ‘Although they didn't actually print my letter, they have acknowledged my request and hopefully something will be done.’
      • ‘And that is the problem; my letters have not been acknowledged.’
      • ‘Even when told, companies often failed to sort out the problem or fail to answer or even acknowledge complaint letters.’
      • ‘I am very angry that we didn't even get a letter back acknowledging our petition, because we spent a lot of time on it.’
      • ‘This letter was acknowledged on 1st August 1996, and on the same day the defendant's solicitor wrote to the court to inquire whether it regarded the action as being struck out.’
      • ‘The accused had acknowledged receipt of the document and signed the acknowledgement.’
      • ‘A courteous letter acknowledging the complaint would have been quite sufficient.’
      • ‘Ms Hughes acknowledged the letter on March 17 last year and then wrote on April 10 indicating that action was being taken.’
      • ‘That letter was acknowledged by NCIS by letter dated 17th March, received into these offices on 20th March.’
      • ‘I take it that, for reasons I cannot fathom, Dr. Cork has no intention of acknowledging my letter in any way.’
      • ‘He had also wrote to Minister Cullen, who'd also acknowledged his letter, requesting him to use his contacts to expedite the meeting.’
      answer, return, reply to, respond to, react to
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Late 15th century: from the obsolete Middle English verb knowledge, influenced by obsolete acknow ‘acknowledge, confess’.