The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
acknowledge \ac*knowl"edge\ ([a^]k*n[o^]l"[e^]j), v. t. [imp. &
p. p. acknowledged ([a^]k*n[o^]l"[e^]jd); p. pr. & vb. n.
acknowledging ([a^]k*n[o^]l"[e^]j*[i^]ng).] [Prob. fr.
pref. a- + the verb knowledge. See Knowledge, and cf.
1. To own or admit the knowledge of; to recognize as a fact
or truth; to declare one's belief in; as, to acknowledge
the being of a God.
I acknowledge my transgressions. --Ps. li. 3.
For ends generally acknowledged to be good.
2. To own or recognize in a particular character or
relationship; to admit the claims or authority of; to give
In all thy ways acknowledge Him. --Prov. iii.
By my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee. --Shak.
3. To own with gratitude or as a benefit or an obligation;
as, to acknowledge a favor, the receipt of a letter.
They his gifts acknowledged none. --Milton.
4. To own as genuine; to assent to, as a legal instrument, to
give it validity; to avow or admit in legal form; as, to
acknowledge a deed.
Syn: To avow; proclaim; recognize; own; admit; allow;
Usage: Acknowledge, Recognize. Acknowledge is opposed to
keep back, or conceal, and supposes that something had
been previously known to us (though perhaps not to
others) which we now feel bound to lay open or make
public. Thus, a man acknowledges a secret marriage;
one who has done wrong acknowledges his fault; and
author acknowledges his obligation to those who have
aided him; we acknowledge our ignorance. Recognize
supposes that we have either forgotten or not had the
evidence of a thing distinctly before our minds, but
that now we know it (as it were) anew, or receive and
admit in on the ground of the evidence it brings.
Thus, we recognize a friend after a long absence. We
recognize facts, principles, truths, etc., when their
evidence is brought up fresh to the mind; as, bad men
usually recognize the providence of God in seasons of
danger. A foreign minister, consul, or agent, of any
kind, is recognized on the ground of his producing
satisfactory credentials. See also Confess.