What is Acceptance?

Legal Definition
Acceptance in human psychology is a person's assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest it. The concept is close in meaning to 'acquiescence', derived from the Latin 'acquiēscere' (to find rest in).
-- Wikipedia
Legal Definition
Assent to the terms of an offer. Acceptance must be judged objectively, but can either be expressly stated or implied by the offeree's conduct. To form a binding contract, acceptance should be relayed in a manner authorized, requested, or at least reasonably expected by the offeror.
Legal Definition
Contracts. An agreement to receive somethinng which has been offered.

2. To complete the contract, the acceptance must be absolute and past recall, 10 Pick. 826; 1 Pick. 278; and communicated to the party making the offer at the time and place appointed. 4. Wheat. R. 225; 6 Wend. 103.

3. In many cases acceptance of a thing waives the right which the party receiving before had; as, for example, the acceptance of rent after notice to quit, in general waives. the notice. See Co. Litt. 211, b; Id. 215, a.; and Notice to quit.

4. The acceptance may be express, as when it is openly declared by the party to be bound by it; or implied, as where the party acts as if he had accepted. The offer, and acceptance must be in some medium understood by, both parties; it may be language, symbolical, oral or written. For example, persons deaf and dumb may contract by symbolical or written language. At auction sales, the contract, generally symbolical; a nod, a wink, or some other sign by one party, imports that he makes an offer, and knocking down a hammer by the other, that he agrees to it. 3 D. & E. 148. This subject is further considered under the articles Assent and Offer, (q v.)

5. Acceptance of a bill of exchange the act by which the drawee or other person evinces his assent or intention to comply with and be bound by, the request contained in a bill of exchange to pay the same; or in other words, it is an engagement to pay the bill when due. 4 East, 72, It will be proper to consider, 1, by whom the acceptance ought to be made; 2, the time when it is to be made; 3, the form of the acceptance; 4, its extent or effect.

6. – 1. The acceptance must be made by the drawee himself, or by one authorized by him. On the presentment of a bill, the holder has a right to insist upon such an acceptance by the drawee as will subject him at all events to the payment of the bill, according to its tenor; consequently such drawee must have capacity to contract, and to bind himself to pay the amount of the bill, or it, may be treated as dishonored. Marius, 22. See 2 Ad. & EH. N. S. 16, 17.

7. – 2. As to the time when, a bill ought to be accepted, it may be before the bill is drawn; in this case it must be in writing; 3 Mass. 1; or it may be after it is drawn; when the bill is presented, the drawee must accept the bill within twenty-four hours after presentment, or it should be treated as dishonored. Chit. Bills, 212. 217. On the refusal to accept, even within the twenty-four hours, it should be protested. Chit. Bills, 217. The acceptance may be made after the bill is drawn, and before it becomes due or after the time appointed for payment 1 H. Bl. 313; 2 Green, R. 339 ; and even after refusal to accept so as to bind the acceptor.

8. The acceptance may also be made supra protest, which is the acceptance of the bill, after protest for non-acceptance by the drawee, for the honor of the drawer, or a particular endorser. When a bill has been accepted supra protest for the honor of one party to the bill, it may be accepted supra protest, by another individual, for the honor of another. Beawes, tit. Bills of Exchange, pl. 52; 5 Campb. R. 447.

9. – 3. As to the form of the acceptance, it is clearly established it may be in writing on the bill itself, or on another paper, 4 East, 91; or it may be verbal, 4 East, 67; 10 John. 207; 3 Mass. 1; or it may be expressed or implied.

10. An express acceptance is an agreement in direct and express terms to pay a bill of exchange, either by the party on whom it is drawn, or by some other person, for the honor of some of the parties. It is Usually in the words accepted or accepts, but other express words showing an engagement to pay the bill will be equally binding.

11. An implied acceptance is an agreement to pay a bill, not by direct and express terms, but by any acts of the party from which an express agreement may be fairly inferred. For example, if the drawee writes "seen," "presented," or any, other thing upon it, (as the day on which it becomes due,) this, unless explained by other circumstances, will constitute an acceptance.

12. – 4. An acceptance in regard to its extent and effect, may be either absolute, conditional, or partial.

13. An absolute acceptance is a positive engagement to pay the bill according to its tenor, and is usually made by writing on the bill "accepted," and subscribing the drawee's name; or by merely writing his name either at the bottom or across the bill. Comb. 401; Vin. Ab. Bills of Exchange, L 4; Bayl. 77; Chit. Bills, 226 to 228. But in order to bind another than the drawee, it is requisite his name should appear. Bayl. 78.

14. A conditional acceptance is one which will subject the drawee or acceptor to the payment of the money on a contingency, Bayl. 83, 4, 5; Chit. Bills, 234; Holt's C. N. P. 182; 5 Taunt, 344; 1 Marsh. 186. The holder is not bound to receive such an acceptance, but if he do receive it he must observe its terms. 4 M.& S. 466; 2 W. C. C. R. 485; 1 Campb. 425.

15. A partial acceptance varies from the tenor of the bill, as where it is made to pay part of the sum for which the bill is drawn, 1 Stra. 214; 2 Wash. C. C. R. 485; or to pay at a different time, Molloy, b. 2, c. 10, s. 20; or place, 4. M.& S. 462.
-- Bouviers Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The taking and receiving of anything in good part, and as it were a tacit agreement to a preceding act, which might have been defeated or avoided if such acceptance had not been made. Brooke, Abr. The act of a person to whom a thing is offered or tendered by another, whereby he receives the thing with the intention of retuin-ing it, such intention being evidenced by a sufficient act. The acceptance of goods sold under a contract which would be void by the statute of frauds without delivery and acceptance involves something more than the act of the vendor in the delivery. It requires that the vendee should also act, and that his act should be of such a nature as to indicate that he receives and acoepts the goods delivered as his property. He must receive and retain the articles delivered, intending thereby to assume the title to them, to constitute the acceptance mentioned in the statute. Rodgers v. Phillips, 40 N. Y. 524. See, also, Snow v. Warner, 10 Mete. (Mass.) 132, 43 Am. Dec. 417.

In marine insurance, the acceptance of an abandonment by the underwriter is his assent, either express or to be implied from the surrounding circumstances, to the sufficiency and regularity of the abandonment. Its effect is to perfect the insured's right of action as for a total loss, if the cause of loss and circumstances have been truly disclosed. Rap. & Law. Acceptance of a hill of exchange. In mercantile law. The act by which the person on whom a bill of exchange is drawn (called the "drawee") assents to the request of the drawer to pay it, or, in other words, engages or makes himself liable, to pay it when due. 2 Bl Comm. 469; Cox v. National Bank, 100 U. S. 704, 25 In Ed. 739. It may be by parol or in writing, and either general or special, absolute or conditional; and it may be impliedly, as well as expressly, given. 8 Kent, Comm. 83, 85; Story, Bills, §§ 238, 251

But the usual and regular mode of acceptance is by the drawee's writing across the face of the bill the word "accepted," and subscribing his name; after which he is termed the acceptor. Id. § 243. The following are the principal varieties of acceptances:

Absolute. An express and positive agreement to pay the bill according to its tenor. Conditional. An engagement to pay the bill on the happening of a condition. Todd v. Bank of Kentucky, 3 Bush (Ky ) 62S. Express. An absolute acceptance. Implied. An acceptance inferred by law from the acts or conduct of the drawee. Partial. An acceptance varying from the tenor of the bill. Qualified. One either conditional or partial, and which introduces a variation in the sum, time, mode, or place of payment. Supra protest. An acceptance by a third person, after protest of the bill for non-acceptance by the drawee, to save the honor of the drawer or some particular endorser. A general acceptance is an absolute acceptance precisely in conformity with the tenor of the bill itself, and not qualified by any statement, condition, or change. Rowe v. Young, 2 Brod. & B. 180; Todd v. Bank of Kentucky, 3 Bush (Ky.) 628 A special acceptance is the qualified acceptance of a bill of exchange, as where it is accepted as payable at a particular place "and not elsewhere." Rowe v. Young, 2 Brod. & B. 180.
-- Black's Law Dictionary
Legal Definition
The actual or implied receipt and retention of that which is tendered or offered. The acknowledgment of or assent to liability on a bill of exchange by the drawee. See 138 Am. St. Rep. 1102.
-- Ballentine's Law Dictionary