Alternative formsEdit


Recorded since 1553, a blend of Middle English knowlechen (to discover, reveal, acknowledge) and aknowen (to recognize, acknowledge); the latter from Old English oncnāwan, ācnāwan (to know, recognize, acknowledge), from on + cnāwan (to know). Notice the preservation of /k/ word-internally (regularly spelled with ck as in back) while being lost word-initially. The prefix might have been influenced by Anglo-Norman a- (on-, to-). See knowledge.

For the formation compare Latin agnōscō and Russian призна́ть (priznátʹ), with cognate roots.


  • (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /əkˈnɒl.ɪd͡ʒ/, [əkˈnɒlɨ̞d͡ʒ], [əɡˈnɒlɨ̞d͡ʒ]
  • (US) IPA(key): /ækˈnɑl.ɪd͡ʒ/, [əkˈnɑːɫəd͡ʒ], [ɨkˈnɑːɫɨd͡ʒ], [əɡˈnɑːɫəd͡ʒ], [ɨɡˈnɑːɫɨd͡ʒ]
  • Rhymes: -ɒlɪd͡ʒ, -ɒləd͡ʒ
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation US: ac‧knowl‧edge, UK: ac‧know‧ledge


acknowledge (third-person singular simple present acknowledges, present participle acknowledging, simple past and past participle acknowledged)

  1. (transitive) To admit the knowledge of; to recognize as a fact or truth; to declare one's belief in
    to acknowledge the being of a god
  2. (transitive) To own or recognize in a particular quality, character or relationship; to admit the claims or authority of; to give recognition to.
  3. (transitive) To be grateful of (e.g. a benefit or a favour)
    to acknowledge a favor
  4. (transitive) To report (the receipt of a message to its sender).
    This is to acknowledge your kind invitation to participate in the upcoming debate.
  5. (transitive) To own as genuine or valid; to assent to (a legal instrument) to give it validity; to avow or admit in legal form.
    • 1843, Thomas Isaac Wharton, A Digest of the Reported Cases Adjudged in the Several Courts Held in Pennsylvania, Together with Some Manuscript Cases:
      One who has been sheriff may acknowledge a deed executed by him while in office.

Usage notesEdit


Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.