Definition of acquaintance in US English:

acquaintance

noun

  • 1A person's knowledge or experience of something.

    ‘the students had little acquaintance with the language’
    • ‘Intuition represents knowledge by ‘direct acquaintance with things.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘While awaiting the widening of 16th Avenue N.W., you can broaden your acquaintance with poetry at Annie's Book Co.’
    • ‘Despite the title, this play adds little to our knowledge or appreciation of Beckett although assuming a fairly comprehensive acquaintance with his works.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Next it brought an experimental acquaintance with grace and forgiveness.’
    • ‘It was a moment of collective acquaintance with history and the past.’
    • ‘Some had experience of Frankish Gaul and hence some acquaintance with Roman institutions and culture.’
    • ‘Sentimental souls are invited to renew their acquaintance with the Warrumbungle National Park during its 50 year celebrations next month.’
    • ‘Long acquaintance with her own profession makes her impatient with fantasists and phonies.’
    • ‘Caresses marks my first acquaintance with the work of the Catalan playwright Sergi Belbel - and I am certainly richer for the introduction.’
    • ‘Our first acquaintance with power is, presumably, our experience of the power of personal agency.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Black manages to compress a good deal into a limited space, calling on his thorough acquaintance with a vast array of primary sources.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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'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.’
    • ‘Anyone who has any acquaintance with the Bible will know that prophets regularly used strong language when confronted with hypocrisy or decadence.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘Long acquaintance with a work is therefore essential.’
    familiarity, conversance, conversancy, contact, acquaintanceship
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 One's slight knowledge of or friendship with someone.
      ‘I renewed my acquaintance with Herbert’
      ‘most men of her acquaintance were in uniform now’
      • ‘It was the most amazing part of his acquaintance with her yet.’
      • ‘Now, have you had opportunities, in the course of your acquaintance with Mr. Favreau, to watch him walk?’
      • ‘My acquaintance with her just before she entered government made the experience particularly alarming.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I genuinely love the company of women, unlike certain misogynistic Lotharios of my acquaintance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When his marriage is disrupted by the renewal of his acquaintance with Shimamoto, it comes back to haunt him.’
      • ‘It was lovely to renew acquaintance with Gareth Edwards in particular, possibly the greatest ever scrum half, whose fine Welsh accent endears him.’
      • ‘One fellow London-dweller of my acquaintance said recently she was finally decamping from the city.’
      • ‘After all, the ladies of your acquaintance belong to high society.’
      • ‘Very clever, Valda, though some professional magicians of my acquaintance manage this trick with much more aplomb and good humor.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘His telling anecdotes draw on years of personal acquaintance with key figures, and alert attendance at arcane, cultish tech conferences.’
      • ‘With the renewal of his acquaintance with her, Jean's life takes a new turn.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Over the five years of our acquaintance with her, Fanny avoids pregnancy when it would be professionally inconvenient.’
      • ‘Now, because of her acquaintance with Moher, Zalie was looked at as if she were one of the most important people ever born.’
      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’
    • ‘I'm finding that with a lot of my friends or acquaintances going back to school, I miss it.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In some ways it is not the close friends but the acquaintances I miss the most.’
    • ‘It's inevitable that as one moves from one place to another, it is easy to lose touch with friends and acquaintances.’
    • ‘People who have had that sort of bad experience are reluctant to return and warn off their friends and acquaintances as well.’
    • ‘He had big-name friends, acquaintances, mistresses and more book deals waiting.’
    • ‘An average day for her exhausts the topics of friends, acquaintances, drawing and books.’
    • ‘To give an example from the purely personal level, an elderly female acquaintance of mine does not drink coffee.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There were also several friends and acquaintances who knew Robert well.’
    • ‘His death evoked widespread regret and shock amongst his many friends and acquaintances.’
    • ‘Most of the friends and acquaintances he contacted said they were not interested.’
    • ‘I have observed something completely different within my own circle of friends and acquaintances.’
    • ‘All my friends and regular acquaintances are smarter than me on all sorts of different levels.’
    • ‘Most people are content with having more acquaintances and very few friends.’
    • ‘The people I called friends, more close acquaintances, left for university.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘And the news from business partners, friends and acquaintances in America is similar.’
    contact, associate, connection, ally, colleague
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Acquaintances considered collectively.
      ‘his extensive acquaintance included Oscar Wilde and Yeats’
      • ‘In such terms Mr Gradgrind always mentally introduced himself, whether to his private circle of acquaintance, or to the public in general.’
      • ‘He could have included elite journalists in that circle of acquaintance.’
      • ‘Djuna Barnes was one of the bohemian set in 1920 and 30s Paris, and her creative circle of acquaintance included Gertrude Stein.’
      • ‘So basically, you look at the family members, acquaintance, or a total stranger.’
      • ‘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.’

Phrases

  • make the acquaintance of (or make someone's acquaintance)

    • Meet someone for the first time and become only slightly familiar.

      ‘they are anxious to make your acquaintance’
      • ‘I am pleased to make your acquaintance, for I have always wished to meet a Master Bard.’
      • ‘It was a pleasure and a delight to make his acquaintance…’
      • ‘Each will have a special anecdote of their friend Michael and his memory will long be cherished by all who were indeed fortunate to make his acquaintance.’
      • ‘Harry and Dolly will be pleased to make their acquaintance again, too.’
      • ‘He was held in the warmest regard by all who were indeed fortunate enough to make his acquaintance.’
      • ‘Venus lives with her husband in Vancouver, and we look forward to making her acquaintance.’
      • ‘John Raw has a liking for comic roles, and it is easy to see why on making his acquaintance.’
      • ‘It was a pleasure to have made your acquaintance and to have met your wonderful dedicated team.’
      • ‘I much look forward to making his acquaintance.’
      • ‘And I, it must be said, was particularly pleased to have made the reporter 's acquaintance.’
      • ‘Those of us who were fortunate to make his acquaintance during his brief stay in the city know only of his quiet courtesy and readiness to help others.’
      • ‘What a surreal pleasure to make Gibb 's acquaintance.’
      • ‘Wherever he went, he made friends and, not surprisingly, both at home and abroad his sudden and tragic death has left a huge void for all to those privileged to make his acquaintance.’
      • ‘Mark was seemingly intent on making his acquaintance with anyone from the opposite sex.’
      • ‘The entire executive would welcome the opportunity to make her acquaintance.’
      • ‘Her gentle, good humoured and obliging nature, mild manner and unassuming disposition commended her to all fortunate enough to make her acquaintance.’
      • ‘It's been marvellous to make his acquaintance and it's great that he's still on the end of a phone call.’
      • ‘And like most people I've encountered there, I don't recall the specifics of making his acquaintance.’
      • ‘Mr. Holmes, I'm honoured to make your acquaintance.’
      • ‘Remember the name, as it's well worth making their acquaintance.’
      get in formation, get in line, line up, take one's position, get in order, get into columns, get into rows
      View synonyms

Origin

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

Pronunciation

acquaintance

/əˈkwāntəns//əˈkweɪntəns/