rec·og·ni·tion | \ ˌre-kig-ˈni-shən , -kəg- \

Definition of recognition 

1 : the action of recognizing : the state of being recognized: such as

a : acknowledgment especially : formal acknowledgment of the political existence of a government or nation

b : knowledge or feeling that someone or something present has been encountered before

2 : special notice or attention

3 : the sensing and encoding of printed or written data by a machine optical character recognition magnetic ink character recognition

Examples of recognition in a Sentence

The procedure is gaining recognition as the latest advance in organ transplant surgery. The Olympic Committee gave official recognition to the sport. His smile was a recognition that things were not so bad. Her paintings received recognition from her fellow artists. All she wanted was some recognition for her work. He finally received the recognition that he deserved. They were awarded medals in recognition of their bravery.
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Recent Examples on the Web

James Bell received a plaque in recognition of his outstanding leadership. Tracy Trobridge, Howard County Times, "Glenwood Lions Club recognizes police and fire heroes [Glenwood/Glenelg/Dayton]," 12 July 2018 Les Seskin of Boca Raton recently received an honorary fellowship from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology during a special awards ceremony in recognition of his tireless support to the institution. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Boca Raton resident receives honorary fellowship from Technion," 11 July 2018 According to a story on, the coupon includes the Kroger logo and promises families will receive $250 off in recognition of the company's 135th anniversary. David Rasbach, idahostatesman, "A $250 online coupon to a grocery store sounds too good to be true. Turns out, it was.," 10 July 2018 The university is giving her a scholarship in recognition of her achievements. Jamie Halper,, "Teen leads charge to raise marriage age in N.H.," 9 July 2018 Now Russia is increasingly looking East, toward an uneasy alliance with an illiberal and much more powerful China, and—in recognition of the country’s increasingly Muslim makeup—with nations such as Turkey and Iran. Yaroslav Trofimov, WSJ, "Russia’s Turn to Its Asian Past," 6 July 2018 Purple Heart Day barbecue Purple Heart recipients and their families are invited to a barbecue from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, at Randall Oaks Park, 750 Randall Road, West Dundee, in recognition of Purple Heart Day. Michelle Mullins, Elgin Courier-News, "Elgin News Digest: Dueling Pianos to perform in East Dundee, Purple Heart Day barbecue set for Aug. 4, Fox River library board candidates sought, more," 6 July 2018 San Diego County students are among recipients of the 2018 California State FFA Degree, given in recognition of years of academic and professional excellence by the California FFA Organization. Laura Groch,, "County high schoolers earn California State FFA Degree awards," 6 July 2018 His office forwarded a request from Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley to the White House to have American flags lowered in recognition of the shooting at the newspaper. Pamela Wood,, "Annapolis Independence Day parade honors freedom of the press, especially for The Capital," 5 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recognition.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of recognition

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recognition

Middle English recognicion, from Anglo-French recognition, from Latin recognition-, recognitio, from recognoscere

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Phrases Related to recognition

beyond (all) recognition

Statistics for recognition

Last Updated

29 Aug 2018

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Time Traveler for recognition

The first known use of recognition was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for recognition



English Language Learners Definition of recognition

: the act of accepting that something is true or important or that it exists

: the act of accepting someone or something as having legal or official authority

: the act of knowing who or what someone or something is because of previous knowledge or experience


rec·og·ni·tion | \ ˌre-kig-ˈni-shən \

Kids Definition of recognition

1 : the act of knowing and remembering upon seeing She looked straight at Johnny and he at her. Neither gave any sign of recognition. —Esther Forbes, Johnny Tremain

2 : the act of accepting the existence, truth, or importance of something recognition of past mistakes

3 : special attention or notice The writer's work won recognition.


rec·og·ni·tion | \ ˌrek-əg-ˈnish-ən \

Medical Definition of recognition 

: the form of memory that consists in knowing or feeling that a present object has been met before

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rec·og·ni·tion | \ ˌre-kəg-ˈni-shən \

Legal Definition of recognition 

1 : the act, process, or fact of recognizing

2 : the state of being recognized

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Comments on recognition

What made you want to look up recognition? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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