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Alternative forms[edit]


First attested in 1574. From Middle French acceptance, from Old French accepter (accept). Equivalent to accept +‎ -ance.



acceptance (countable and uncountable, plural acceptances)

  1. The act of accepting; a receiving of something offered, with approbation, satisfaction, or acquiescence; especially, favorable reception; approval
    the acceptance of a gift, office, doctrine, etc.
    • Isaiah 60:7:
      They shall come up with acceptance on mine altar.
  2. Belief in something; agreement; assent.
  3. State of being accepted.
    • 1594, Shakespeare, Rape of Lucrece:
      Makes it assured of acceptance.
  4. (business, finance) An assent and engagement by the person on whom a bill of exchange is drawn, to pay it when due according to the terms of the acceptance.
  5. (business, finance) The bill of exchange itself when accepted.
  6. An agreeing to terms or proposals by which a bargain is concluded and the parties are bound; the reception or taking of a thing bought as that for which it was bought, or as that agreed to be delivered, or the taking possession as owner.
  7. (law) An agreeing to the action of another, by some act which binds the person in law.
  8. (US, government) The act of an authorized representative of the Government by which the Government assents to ownership by it of existing and identified supplies, or approves specific services rendered, as partial or complete performance of a contract.
  9. The usual or accepted meaning of a word or expression.
  10. (Australia, New Zealand, plural only) A list of horses accepted as starters in a race.

Usage notes[edit]

  • (legal, An agreeing to the action of another, by some act which binds the person in law): In modern law, proposal and acceptance are the constituent elements into which all contracts are resolved.

Derived terms[edit]



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


  • acceptance in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • (legal, An agreeing to the action of another, by some act which binds the person in law): Mozley and Whitely, Law Dictionary:
    What acts shall amount to such an acceptance is often a question of great nicety and difficulty.