Podcast acquiesce

Printable Version
Pronunciation: æ-kwee-es Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: To assent, to give in on some issue or at least withhold your opposition, to relinquish your opinion or consent under pressure and agree to someone else's.

Notes: Don't forget the silent partners, C and E, at the end of this word: acquiesce! Remembering that this word is related to quiet might help you with the spelling. Someone who acquiesces is acquiescent and does things acquiescently. That is because of the acquiescence in their nature at least at the time of their acquiescence. Keeping up?

In Play: Today's good verb is intransitive, which means that it cannot have a direct object (you cannot acquiesce anything). It does take a prepositional phrase, however, usually based on in or to: "He acquiesced in locating the hog farm across the street from his house." If you wish to indicate the person or position that forces your assent, use to: "Lydia acquiesced to Fremont's plaintive pleas to hold their wedding in New Monia, Alaska."

Word History: Today's Good Word comes from Latin acquiescere "to quieten down" made out of ad "(up) to" + quiescere "to rest, be quiet". The past participle of quiescere is quietus, the origin of English quiet. Quietus itself produced another verb, quietare "to calm, quieten" which became French quitter "leave (alone)" and was borrowed by English as quit. This word originally meant "to leave (alone, in peace)" but came to mean "to leave off, stop", its current meaning. The root here is PIE kwei-t- "to rest, be quiet", which also took the suffix -l, kwei-l-. When the [k] > [h] in English (standard procedure), the result was while. (Before we quit talking about today's Good Word, we must thank Robin Childs for suggesting it.)

Dr. Goodword,

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