From Middle English aknowen, from Old English ācnāwan, oncnāwan (“to understand, know, perceive, observe, recognize, acknowledge, confess, disclose”), equivalent to a- + know.
acknow (third-person singular simple present acknows, present participle acknowing, simple past acknew, past participle acknown)
- (transitive, obsolete) To recognize.
1606, Ben Jonson, Volpone, act 5, scene 4:
- You will not be acknown, sir; why, 'tis wise.
Thus do all gamesters, at all games, dissemble:
No man will seem to win.
- (transitive, obsolete) To acknowledge; confess (often with "of" or "on"), reveal, disclose, realize
1532, Sir Thomas More, The Confutation of Tyndale's Answer:
- We say of a stubborn body that standeth still in the denying of his fault, This man will not acknowledge his fault, or, He will not be acknown of his fault.
1883 June 4, “Imprudent Mr. Hendricks”, in New York Times (Features), New York:
- Three years in his employment a secret agent in the Post Office Department, who obtained for him the first knowledge of the star route frauds, and placed it at his disposal before it Acknown to be suspected by either the public or the Government.