verb \ˈre-kig-ˌnīz, -kəg-\

: 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

transitive verb
:  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
:  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>
a :  to perceive to be something or someone previously known <recognized the word>
b :  to perceive clearly :  realize
rec·og·niz·abil·i·ty \ˌre-kig-ˌnī-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -kəg-\ noun
rec·og·niz·able \ˈre-kəg-ˌnī-zə-bəl, -kig-\ adjective
rec·og·niz·ably \-blē\ adverb
rec·og·niz·er noun

Examples of RECOGNIZE

  1. I didn't recognize you at first with your new haircut.
  2. I can always recognize him from far away by the way he walks.
  3. They recognized the odor at once.
  4. The U.S. government has now recognized the newly formed country.
  5. They refused to recognize the treaty.


modification of Anglo-French reconois-, stem of reconoistre, from Latin recognoscere, from re- + cognoscere to know — more at cognition
First Known Use: circa 1532


Next Word in the Dictionary: recognizedly
Previous Word in the Dictionary: recognizant
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