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[uh-kweyn-tns] /əˈkweɪn tns/
a person known to one, but usually not a close friend.
the state of being acquainted or casually familiar with someone or something:
As far as I know, no one of my acquaintance has traveled around the world.
personal knowledge as a result of study, experience, etc.:
a good acquaintance with French wines.
(used with a plural verb) the persons with whom one is acquainted.
Also, acquaintanceship (for defs 2, 3)
Origin of acquaintance
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
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for acquaintance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Does he come under the recommendatory 'firman' of any dear friend or acquaintance?

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever
  • Keep me posted, please, as to your success in making their acquaintance.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • But my acquaintance with him is wholly of a public character.

    Edmond Dants Edmund Flagg
  • By the way, Miss Gracie, I think he is an acquaintance of yours.

    Ester Ried Yet Speaking Isabella Alden
  • My questions are these—Have you put an end to that acquaintance?

    The Belton Estate Anthony Trollope
British Dictionary definitions for acquaintance


a person with whom one has been in contact but who is not a close friend
knowledge of a person or thing, esp when slight
make the acquaintance of, to come into social contact with
those persons collectively whom one knows
(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
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Word Origin and History for acquaintance

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
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Idioms and Phrases with acquaintance
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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