1. a person known to one, but usually not a close friend.
  2. 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.
  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.


  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)

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.

see nodding acquaintance; scrape up an acquaintance.

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