The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Acquaintance \Ac*quaint"ance\, n. [OE. aqueintance, OF.
acointance, fr. acointier. See Acquaint.]
1. A state of being acquainted, or of having intimate, or
more than slight or superficial, knowledge; personal
knowledge gained by intercourse short of that of
friendship or intimacy; as, I know the man; but have no
acquaintance with him.
Contract no friendship, or even acquaintance, with a
guileful man. --Sir W.
2. A person or persons with whom one is acquainted.
Montgomery was an old acquaintance of Ferguson.
Note: In this sense the collective term acquaintance was
formerly both singular and plural, but it is now
commonly singular, and has the regular plural
To be of acquaintance, to be intimate.
To take acquaintance of or with, to make the acquaintance
Syn: Familiarity; intimacy; fellowship; knowledge.
Usage: Acquaintance, Familiarity, Intimacy. These words
mark different degrees of closeness in social
intercourse. Acquaintance arises from occasional
intercourse; 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
Our admiration of a famous man lessens upon our
nearer acquaintance with him. --Addison.
We contract at last such a familiarity with them
as makes it difficult and irksome for us to call
off our minds. --Atterbury.
It is in our power to confine our friendships
and intimacies to men of virtue. --Rogers.