rec·​og·​ni·​tion ˌre-kig-ˈni-shən How to pronounce recognition (audio)
: the action of recognizing : the state of being recognized: such as
: acknowledgment
especially : formal acknowledgment of the political existence of a government or nation
: knowledge or feeling that someone or something present has been encountered before
: special notice or attention
: the sensing and encoding of printed or written data by a machine
optical character recognition
magnetic ink character recognition

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The idea being that many female viewers and, likely, a handful of self-aware male viewers, will recoil in recognition. David Fear, Rolling Stone, 22 Jan. 2023 Now, the famed cake is set to receive a new sign marker in recognition of its historical significance. Olivia Minzola, Baltimore Sun, 22 Jan. 2023 Partly in recognition of his work tending to America’s war dead, the U.S. government offered him a green card. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, 19 Jan. 2023 Today, Kate hosted a reception for the England Wheelchair Rugby League team in recognition of their success in the Rugby League World Cup. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, 19 Jan. 2023 The four schools make voluntary contributions to the city each year in recognition of this fact. Sacha Sloan,, 18 Jan. 2023 Both were recipients of Distinguished Service Awards, annual honors given by the orchestra in recognition of extraordinary service to Northeast Ohio in the spirit of King. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, 16 Jan. 2023 Most governmental services are closed Monday, Jan. 16, in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a federal holiday. oregonlive, 16 Jan. 2023 Quick note: In recognition of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16, the next CFO Daily will be in your inbox on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Sheryl Estrada, Fortune, 13 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near recognition

Cite this Entry

“Recognition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


rec·​og·​ni·​tion ˌrek-ig-ˈnish-ən How to pronounce recognition (audio)
: the act of recognizing
: acknowledgment of something done or given
got a medal in recognition of bravery
: formal acknowledgment of the political existence of a government or nation
: special attention or notice

Medical Definition


rec·​og·​ni·​tion ˌrek-əg-ˈnish-ən How to pronounce recognition (audio)
: the form of memory that consists in knowing or feeling that a present object has been met before

Legal Definition


rec·​og·​ni·​tion ˌre-kəg-ˈni-shən How to pronounce recognition (audio)
: the act, process, or fact of recognizing
: the state of being recognized
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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