Simple Definition of recognize
: to know and remember (someone or something) because of previous knowledge or experience
: to accept or be aware that (something) is true or exists
: to accept and approve of (something) as having legal or official authority
Full Definition of recognize
1 : to acknowledge formally: as a : to admit as being lord or sovereign b : to admit as being of a particular status c : to admit as being one entitled to be heard : give the floor to d : to acknowledge the de facto existence or the independence of
2 : to acknowledge or take notice of in some definite way: as a : to acknowledge with a show of appreciation <recognize an act of bravery with the award of a medal> b : to acknowledge acquaintance with <recognize a neighbor with a nod>
3 a : to perceive to be something or someone previously known <recognized the word> b : to perceive clearly : realize
Examples of recognize in a sentence
I didn't recognize you at first with your new haircut.
I can always recognize him from far away by the way he walks.
They recognized the odor at once.
The U.S. government has now recognized the newly formed country.
They refused to recognize the treaty.
Origin of recognize
modification of Anglo-French reconois-, stem of reconoistre, from Latin recognoscere, from re- + cognoscere to know — more at cognition
First Known Use: circa 1532
RECOGNIZE Defined for Kids
Definition of recognize for Students
1 : to know and remember upon seeing <I recognized an old friend.>
2 : to be willing to accept <I recognized my own faults.>
3 : to take approving notice of <They recognized his bravery with a medal.>
Legal Definition of recognize
1 : to acknowledge formally: as a : to admit as being of a particular status <recognize a precedent> <recognize a union>; specifically : to acknowledge (as a right, cause of action, or defense) as valid b : to admit as being one entitled to be heard : give the floor to c : to acknowledge the de facto existence or the independence of <refused to recognize the new government>
2 : to account for as real, received, or incurred and treat and record appropriately; specifically : to account for (a gain, loss, expense, or income) on current accounting or tax records <recognized the gain when she included it as income on her tax return> — compare realize
Seen and Heard
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