Dictionary

recognizance

noun re·cog·ni·zance \ri-ˈkäg-nə-zən(t)s, -ˈkä-nə-\

law : a legal promise made by someone before a court of law that must be kept to avoid being punished

Full Definition of RECOGNIZANCE

1
a :  an obligation of record entered into before a court or magistrate requiring the performance of an act (as appearance in court) usually under penalty of a money forfeiture <released on his own recognizance>
b :  the sum liable to forfeiture upon such an obligation
2
archaic :  token, pledge
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Origin of RECOGNIZANCE

Middle English recognissance, alteration of reconissaunce, from Anglo-French, from reconoistre to recognize
First Known Use: 14th century

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