acquaintance
Pronunciation
  • (RP) IPA: /əˈkweɪntəns/
  • (America) IPA: /ʌˈkweɪn.təns/

Noun

acquaintance

  1. (uncountable) A state of being acquainted with a person; originally indicating friendship, intimacy, but now suggesting a slight knowledge less deep than that of friendship; acquaintanceship. [from 12th c.]
    I know of the man; but have no acquaintance with him.
    • 1799, William Jones (translator), Hito'pade'sa, in The Works, Volume 6, [http://books.google.com.au/books?id=EXhFAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA22&dq=%22Contract+no+friendship,+or+even+acquaintance,+with+a+guileful+man%22&hl=en&ei=vdvcTdLjKIbEvgO38YSfDw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=8&ved=0CEwQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=%22Contract%20no%20friendship%2C%20or%20even%20acquaintance%2C%20with%20a%20guileful%20man%22&f=false page 22]:
      Contract no friendſhip, or even acquaintance, with a guileful man : he reſembles a coal, which when hot burneth the hand, and when cold blacketh it.
  2. (countable) A person or persons with whom one is acquainted. [from 14th c.]
  3. (uncountable) Such people collectively; one's circle of acquaintances (with plural concord). [from 15th c.]
    • 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Penguin 2004, p. 230:
      Their mother […] was busy in the mean time in keeping up her connections, as she termed a numerous acquaintance, lest her girls should want a proper introduction into the great world.
  4. Personal knowledge (with a specific subject etc.). [from 16th c.]
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