Acknowledge, admit, own, avow and confess all mean to disclose against one’s will or inclination.
What’s the difference?
Acknowledge implies the disclosing of something that has been or might be concealed.
- She refuses to acknowledge the need for reform.
Admit stresses reluctance to disclose, grant, or concede and refers usually to facts rather than their implications.
- She stubbornly refuses to admit the truth.
Own implies acknowledging something in close relation to oneself.
- She owned she had been present.
Avow implies boldly declaring what one might be expected to be silent about.
- An aide avowed that the President had known nothing of the deals.
Confess may apply to an admission of a weakness, failure, omission, or guilt.
- She was reluctant to confess her ignorance.