ACCEPTANCE (Lat. acceptare, frequentative form of accipere, to receive), generally, a receiving or acknowledgment of receipt; in law, the act by which a person binds himself to comply with the request contained in a bill of exchange (q.v.), addressed to him by the drawer. In all cases it is understood to be a promise to pay the bill in money, the law not recognizing an acceptance in which the promise is to pay in some other way, e.g. partly in money and partly by another bill. Acceptance may be either general or qualified. A general acceptance is an engagement to pay the bill strictly according to its tenor, and is made by the drawee subscribing his name, with or without the word "accepted," at the bottom of the bill, or across the face of it. Qualified acceptance may be a promise to pay on a contingency occurring, e.g. on the sale of certain goods consigned by the drawer to the acceptor. No contingency is allowed to be mentioned in the body of the bill, but a qualified acceptance is quite legal, and equally binding with a general acceptance upon the acceptor when the contingency bas occurred. It is also qualified acceptance where the promise is to pay only part of the sum mentioned in the bill, or to pay at a different time or place from those specified. As a qualified acceptance is so far a disregard of the drawer's order, the holder is not obliged to take it; and if he chooses to take it he must give notice to antecedent parties, acting at his own risk if they dissent. In all cases acceptance involves the signature of the acceptor either by himself or by some person duly authorized on his behalf. A bill can be accepted in the first instance only by the person or persons to whom it is addressed; but if he or they fail to do so, it may, after being protested for non-acceptance, be accepted by some one else "supra protest," for the sake of the honour of one or more of the parties concerned in it, and he thereupon acquires a claim against the drawer and all those to whom he could have resorted.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)