Acclaimed vs Acknowledged vs Recognized


New Member
Hi, all! I'm wondering what's the difference between these three and what context they should be used in?

Acclaimed, Acknowledged, Recognised

By 1592 Shakespeare was a recognized actor, and in that year he wrote and produced his first play, Henry the Sixth,
She's Caroline Quentin - an acclaimed actress and passionate property developer.
Richard Branson is an acknowledged innovator in his business model, process and product, the Virgin brand is a good case.

I assume that recognized is related to having demonstrated a high level of expertise, having certain achievements and earned awards, or having noteworthy contribution and success in a field.
And it seems to me that acknowledged can be someone who is widely accepted as someone or for something from others.

Is this so? I'm not quite sure of the use cases and I'd be thankful if you can explain them.
  • Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Recognised" is the weakest of the three. It depends on who is doing the recognising, of course, but it is often used merely to indicate that someone has achieved professional status (other actors recognised Shakespeare as member of their profession).

    "Acknowledged" is only slightly stronger in tone. People (and here it generally means the wider population) acknowledge him to be an innovator.

    "Acclaimed" is a term of praise. People don't merely recognise her as an actor or acknowledge her acting skill, but acclaim it.
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