rec·​og·​ni·​tion | \ ˌre-kig-ˈni-shən How to pronounce recognition (audio) , -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 A few months later, The Times reported that Thiel had helped finance a start-up called Clearview AI, whose facial-recognition app was being used by police departments around the country to charge individuals with crimes. Michael Steinberger, New York Times, "Does Palantir See Too Much?," 21 Oct. 2020 The recognition, from one of the most prominent and revered figures in the world, underscores the massive global shift in public opinion on gay rights, a transformation that social scientists say is unlike any other of our time. Samantha Schmidt, Washington Post, "What Pope Francis’s comments about gay families could mean for LGBTQ attitudes worldwide," 21 Oct. 2020 Sophomore Chase Kline has been one of the few other linebackers getting any name-recognition from the tight-lipped coaching staff. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football's Mel Tucker has an interesting process of picking team captains," 21 Oct. 2020 Some other tech companies capable of building facial-recognition technology have been more restrained in deploying it. Heather Somerville, WSJ, "Facial-Recognition Startup Clearview Moves to Prevent Possible Police Abuse," 20 Oct. 2020 The recognition, known as the Cecil B. DeMille Award, is given annually to someone who has made a lasting impact on the world of entertainment. Amir Vera, CNN, "Jeff Bridges announces he was diagnosed with lymphoma," 19 Oct. 2020 Long overdue recognition for a five-time American League All-Star who led the league in hitting at .344 and .327 in 1951 and ’52, respectively. Bruce Jenkins,, "Oakland’s own: From Joe Morgan to Rickey Henderson, the town could take any city in baseball," 17 Oct. 2020 China in August asserted the right to block the deal by adding speech recognition and recommendation technology -- the core of TikTok’s global popularity -- to a list of regulated exports., "China Lawmakers Pass Export Control Law Protecting Tech," 17 Oct. 2020 China in August asserted the right to block the deal by adding speech recognition and recommendation technology -- the core of TikTok’s global popularity -- to a list of regulated exports. Fortune, "China is set to pass law restricting the export of sensitive technology," 16 Oct. 2020

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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Time Traveler for recognition

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for recognition

Last Updated

27 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Recognition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for recognition


How to pronounce recognition (audio)

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 How to pronounce recognition (audio) \

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 How to pronounce recognition (audio) \

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 How to pronounce recognition (audio) \

Legal Definition of recognition

1 : the act, process, or fact of recognizing
2 : the state of being recognized

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