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 grat-tude 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.
contemporary examples

perriello acknowledges those votes could make him a one-termer.
the most courageous man in dc adam clymer december 17, 2009

initially he denies having worked on the video but then acknowledges that he did.
scientology’s new face kim masters october 26, 2009

now, he acknowledges that theaters will charge a premium but it will average out to a bit more than $3 per ticket.
a taxpayer bailout for dreamworks animation? kim masters march 18, 2009

when cullotta looks back on his life, he acknowledges his deadly sins and shrugs when folks ask him about the prison time he did.
frank cullotta, the hitman turned vegas tour guide john l. smith march 29, 2014

mr. taylor acknowledges that he owes mr. taniguchi money after losing a lawsuit to him in 2012.
j-pan’s miss international takes on mob-backed entertainment complex jake adelstein december 17, 2013

historical examples

whilst he acknowledges its competence, he promotes its efficiency.
the works of the right honourable edmund burke, vol. v. (of 12) edmund burke

later on, too, he intervenes in france and acknowledges the legitimacy of the republic.
the three cities trilogy, complete emile zola

he acknowledges mr. collinson’s present of the gl-ss tube as early as march 28, 1747.
stories of invention edward e. hale

it also acknowledges that many differences of kind are resolvable into differences of degree.
sophist plato

he then sent for an old mobisa man, who has a village under him, and acknowledges kimsusa’s power.
the last journals of david livingstone, in central africa, from 1865 to his death, volume i (of 2), 1866-1868 david livingstone

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

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.

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