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From Middle English aqueyntaunce, from Anglo-Norman aquaintaunce, aqueintance, Old French acointance (“friendship, familiarity”), from Old French acointier (“to acquaint”). Compare French accointance.
- (uncountable) A state of being acquainted with a person; originally indicating friendship, intimacy, but now suggesting a slight knowledge less deep than that of friendship; acquaintanceship. [from 12th c.]
- I know of the man; but have no acquaintance with him.
- (countable) A person or persons with whom one is acquainted. [from 14th c.]
- 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter XVI, in The History Of England From the Accession of James II:
- Montgomery was an old acquaintance of Ferguson.
- (uncountable) Such people collectively; one's circle of acquaintances (with plural concord). [from 15th c.]
- 1726 October 28, [Jonathan Swift], “The Author Gives Some Account of Himself and Family, His First Inducements to Travel. […]”, in Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World. […], volume I, London: […] Benj[amin] Motte, […], →OCLC, part I (A Voyage to Lilliput), page 3:
- Having therefore conſulted with my Wife, and ſome of my Acquaintance, I determined to go again to Sea.
- 1791 (date written), Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: With Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects, 1st American edition, Boston, Mass.: […] Peter Edes for Thomas and Andrews, […], published 1792, →OCLC:
- Their mother […] was busy in the mean time in keeping up her connections, as she termed a numerous acquaintance, lest her girls should want a proper introduction into the great world.
- Personal knowledge (with a specific subject etc.). [from 16th c.]
- Synonym notes: The words acquaintance, familiarity, and intimacy now mark different degrees of closeness in social intercourse. Acquaintance arises from occasional intercourse or interaction; as, "our acquaintance has been a brief one". We can speak of a slight or an intimate acquaintance. Familiarity is the result of continued acquaintance. It springs from persons being frequently together, so as to wear off all restraint and reserve; as, "the familiarity of old companions". Intimacy is the result of close connection, and the freest interchange of thought; as, "the intimacy of established friendship".
state of being acquainted, acquaintanceship
- “acquaintance”, in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, Springfield, Mass.: G. & C. Merriam, 1913, →OCLC.
- “acquaintance”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.
acquaintance (plural acquaintances)
- Alternative form of