To show that you know something is to acknowledge it. Waving "hello" to acknowledge a friend and nodding your head "yes" to acknowledge that you agree with what's being said are both acts showing knowledge or acceptance of someone or something.

Dictionaries acknowledge that the word acknowledge has roots in the 15th and 16th centuries and is a combination of roots meaning "accord," "recognize," and "understand." Whereas "knowledge" is what you know, acknowledging is showing that you know. You might acknowledge that the world is round and that the moon is not made of cheese. You also can acknowledge, or give recognition, to the people who discovered these truths.

Definitions of acknowledge
  1. verb
    declare to be true or admit the existence or reality or truth of
    “She acknowledged that she might have forgotten”
    synonyms: admit
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    declare untrue; contradict
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    acknowledge a new land owner as one's landlord
    write off
    concede the loss or worthlessness of something or somebody
    make no bones about
    acknowledge freely and openly
    admit as valid
    concede, confess, profess
    admit (to a wrongdoing)
    confess to God in the presence of a priest, as in the Catholic faith
    confess, fink, squeal
    confess to a punishable or reprehensible deed, usually under pressure
    avouch, avow
    admit openly and bluntly; make no bones about
    fess up, make a clean breast of, own up
    admit or acknowledge a wrongdoing or error
    type of:
    adjudge, declare, hold
    declare to be
  2. verb
    accept (someone) to be what is claimed or accept his power and authority
    “The Crown Prince was acknowledged as the true heir to the throne”
    synonyms: know, recognise, recognize
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    type of:
    consider or hold as true
  3. verb
    accept as legally binding and valid
    acknowledge the deed”
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    type of:
    consider or hold as true
  4. verb
    express recognition of the presence or existence of, or acquaintance with
    “He never acknowledges his colleagues when they run into him in the hallway”
    “She acknowledged his compliment with a smile”
    “it is important to acknowledge the work of others in one's own writing”
    synonyms: notice
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    cite, mention
    type of:
    react, respond
    show a response or a reaction to something
  5. verb
    report the receipt of
    “The program committee acknowledged the submission of the authors of the paper”
    synonyms: receipt
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    type of:
    communicate, pass, pass along, pass on, put across
    transmit information
  6. verb
    express obligation, thanks, or gratitude for
    “We must acknowledge the kindness she showed towards us”
    synonyms: recognise, recognize
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    recognize with gratitude; be grateful for
    type of:
    give thanks, thank
    express gratitude or show appreciation to
Word Family

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