follow Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com's Word of the Year is...

acquaintance

[uh-kweyn-tns] /əˈkweɪn tns/
noun
1.
a person known to one, but usually not a close friend.
2.
the state of being acquainted.
3.
personal knowledge as a result of study, experience, etc.:
a good acquaintance with French wines.
4.
(used with a plural verb) the persons with whom one is acquainted.
Also, acquaintanceship (for defs 2, 3).
Origin
1250-1300
1250-1300; Middle English aqueinta(u)nce, acoyntaunce < Old French acointance. See acquaint, -ance
Related forms
nonacquaintance, noun
nonacquaintanceship, noun
preacquaintance, noun
pseudoacquaintance, noun
reacquaintance, noun
Synonyms
1. Acquaintance, associate, companion, friend refer to a person with whom one is in contact. An acquaintance is someone recognized by sight or someone known, though not intimately: a casual acquaintance. An associate is a person who is often in one's company, usually because of some work, enterprise, or pursuit in common: a business associate. A companion is a person who shares one's activities, fate, or condition: a traveling companion; companion in despair. A friend is a person with whom one is on intimate terms and for whom one feels a warm affection: a trusted friend. 3. familiarity, awareness.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for acquaintance
  • However, he presumes a prior acquaintance with Twain's work.
  • Bonnet was thrilled to make Blackbeard's acquaintance, and the two pirate captains agreed to cruise together.
  • My acquaintance with Keats began awkwardly.
  • Likewise, you may be on the receiving end of tendrils of acquaintance.
  • Over the past year or so, as I became more active again in social media, we struck up our acquaintance all over again.
  • Their acquaintance paved the way for the show in Canton.
  • Thus your disappointed acquaintance should have known better.
  • One of them wasn't a close friend at all, just an acquaintance at best.
  • Thus, it was a pleasure to renew an acquaintance with some old-time favorites.
  • Don't send anything to a colleague—or even an acquaintance—that you wouldn't want somebody else to see.
British Dictionary definitions for acquaintance

acquaintance

/əˈkweɪntəns/
noun
1.
a person with whom one has been in contact but who is not a close friend
2.
knowledge of a person or thing, esp when slight
3.
make the acquaintance of, to come into social contact with
4.
those persons collectively whom one knows
5.
(philosophy) the relation between a knower and the object of his knowledge, as contrasted with knowledge by description (esp in the phrase knowledge by acquaintance)
Derived Forms
acquaintanceship, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for acquaintance
n.

c.1300, "state of being acquainted;" late 14c., "person with whom one is acquainted;" also "personal knowledge;" from Old French acointance "acquaintance, friendship, familiarity," noun of action from acointer (see acquaint). Acquaintant (17c.), would have been better in the "person known" sense but is now obsolete.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with acquaintance
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for acquaintance

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for acquaintance

25
30
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with acquaintance