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 Multiple frameworks emerged, such as methods of capturing and/or recording objects and recognition-by-components, which suggested the human eye can recognize objects by breaking them down into their main components. Abhinai Srivastava, Forbes, 14 Oct. 2021 Jackson is attacking defenses with an even healthier confidence and more keen recognition and anticipation. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, 13 Oct. 2021 Larger and far more fraught decisions, such as whether to grant the Taliban diplomatic recognition, or unfreeze billions of dollars of Afghan assets, are not imminent, officials said. New York Times, 12 Oct. 2021 Monday marked a first for the State of Oregon: official recognition--and celebration--of a new state holiday, Indigenous Peoples’ Day. oregonlive, 12 Oct. 2021 And until about age 14, children are still developing their facial-recognition skills. Emily Dreyfuss, The Atlantic, 11 Oct. 2021 The Gotham Awards are hailed as the first major awards ceremony of the fall season, and provide critical early recognition and media attention to independent films and series and their writers, directors, producers, and actors. Lauren Huff,, 8 Oct. 2021 The event caps off the university’s Hispanic Heritage Month recognition, featuring local food and craft vendors, musicians, dancing, and more family-friendly activities to celebrate the Hispanic community in Northwest Indiana. Post-tribune Staff,, 8 Oct. 2021 That earned Williams All-CFL recognition and an opportunity with the Bills. Mark Inabinett |, al, 7 Oct. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near recognition



recognition mark

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Statistics for recognition

Last Updated

16 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Recognition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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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 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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