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[ak-nol-ijd] /ækˈnɒl ɪdʒd/
widely recognized; generally accepted:
an acknowledged authority on Chinese art.
Origin of acknowledged
1760-70; acknowledge + -ed2
Related forms
[ak-nol-ijd-lee, -i-jid-] /ækˈnɒl ɪdʒd li, -ɪ dʒɪd-/ (Show IPA),
self-acknowledged, adjective
unacknowledged, adjective
well-acknowledged, adjective


[ak-nol-ij] /ækˈnɒl ɪdʒ/
verb (used with object), acknowledged, acknowledging.
to admit to be real or true; recognize the existence, truth, or fact of:
to acknowledge one's mistakes.
to show or express recognition or realization of:
to acknowledge an acquaintance by nodding.
to recognize the authority, validity, or claims of:
The students acknowledged the authority of the student council.
to show or express appreciation or gratitude for:
to acknowledge a favor.
to indicate or make known the receipt of:
to acknowledge a letter.
to take notice of or reply to:
to acknowledge a greeting.
Law. to confirm as binding or of legal force:
to acknowledge a deed.
1475-85; acknowleche, apparently either Middle English aknou(en) to recognize (Old English oncnāwan; see a-1, know) + -leche noun suffix (Old English *-lǣce, by-form of -lac; cf. knowledge, wedlock); or blend of aknouen and knouleche knowledge; then a- was mistaken for ac-
Related forms
acknowledgeable, adjective
acknowledger, noun
preacknowledge, verb (used with object), preacknowledged, preacknowledging.
reacknowledge, verb (used with object), reacknowledged, reacknowledging.
unacknowledging, adjective
1. concede, confess, grant. Acknowledge, admit, confess agree in the idea of declaring something to be true. Acknowledge implies making a statement reluctantly, often about something previously denied: to acknowledge a fault. Admit especially implies acknowledging something under pressure: to admit a charge. Confess usually means stating somewhat formally an admission of wrongdoing, crime, or shortcoming: to confess guilt; to confess an inability to understand.
1. deny, disclaim, disavow. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for acknowledged
  • People more widely acknowledged as heroes represent a broad range of acts considered heroic.
  • They are widely acknowledged to inspire travel to those destinations.
  • It's true, males are more outgoing, and it is widely acknowledged that females are far more subtle in their attacks.
  • The copyrights of authors and publishers are acknowledged.
  • For years, top officials at the agency acknowledged that lawsuits could aid the agency's oversight of safety issues.
  • Denham, the college's president, acknowledged that the school was doing well and could operate independently of the college.
  • But from the moment they did, everyone acknowledged that.
  • The respective copyrights of authors and publishers are acknowledged.
  • University officials acknowledged deficiencies in current procedures and said they would consider the audit's recommendations.
  • Remarkably, no historical records acknowledged the existence of this army, so they were lost to time.
British Dictionary definitions for acknowledged


verb (transitive)
(may take a clause as object) to recognize or admit the existence, truth, or reality of
to indicate recognition or awareness of, as by a greeting, glance, etc
to express appreciation or thanks for: to acknowledge a gift
to make the receipt of known to the sender: to acknowledge a letter
to recognize, esp in legal form, the authority, rights, or claims of
Derived Forms
acknowledgeable, adjective
acknowledger, noun
Word Origin
C15: probably from earlier knowledge, on the model of Old English oncnāwan, Middle English aknowen to confess, recognize
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for acknowledged



1550s, a blend of Middle English aknow (from Old English oncnawan "understand," from on + cnawan "recognize;" see know) and Middle English knowlechen "admit, acknowledge" (c.1200; see knowledge). In the merger, a parasitic -c- slipped in, so that while the kn- became a simple "n" sound (as in know), the -c- stepped up to preserve, in this word, the ancient "kn-" sound. Related: Acknowledged; acknowledging.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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