An acquaintance is someone you know a little about, but they’re not your best friend or anything. Acquaintance is also having knowledge about something specific, like horror films or the farming techniques of Chinese peasants.

The root of acquaintance is the Old French word acointier, a verb meaning “make known.” Being the acquaintance of a person or topic means that you know something about it. An acquaintance is less intimate than a friend, like a person in your class whose name you know, but that’s it. When you “make the acquaintance of” someone, you meet them for the first time. If you know nothing about eggplants, you’d say, “I have little acquaintance with eggplants.”

Definitions of acquaintance
  1. noun
    personal knowledge or information about someone or something
    synonyms: conversance, conversancy, familiarity
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    type of:
    knowledge acquired through study or experience or instruction
  2. noun
    a person with whom you are acquainted
    “I have trouble remembering the names of all my acquaintances
    synonyms: friend
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    alien, stranger, unknown
    anyone who does not belong in the environment in which they are found
    an individual that one is not acquainted with
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    someone who occupies the same sleeping quarters as yourself
    someone who lives in the same camp you do
    (usually plural) a person who is influential and to whom you are connected in some way (as by family or friendship)
    end man
    a man at one end of a row of people
    a male friend from your neighborhood or hometown
    (nautical) an associate with whom you share meals in the same mess (as on a ship)
    a casual acquaintance; often made in hope of sexual relationships
    class fellow, classmate, schoolfellow, schoolmate
    an acquaintance that you go to school with
    type of:
    individual, mortal, person, somebody, someone, soul
    a human being
  3. noun
    a relationship less intimate than friendship
    synonyms: acquaintanceship
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    type of:
    a state involving mutual dealings between people or parties or countries
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘acquaintance'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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