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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web In recent years, great strides have been made in the recognition and respect of nonbinary individuals. Rivea Ruff, Essence, 7 June 2024 The legal recognition is expected to translate to better protection on the street from police harassment and greater support for organ-grinders in their disputes with residents and businesses. Alfredo Sosa, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 June 2024 Among the other notable Americans who have been given honorary knighthood by the British Crown is Angelina Jolie in 2014 in recognition of her humanitarian efforts. Jack Smart, Peoplemag, 4 June 2024 Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach announced Tuesday that law enforcement in Nebraska arrested Jamie Johnson, a 47-year-old Dade City, Fla., resident, on May 29 on allegations of forging signatures on petitions seeking recognition of the No Labels political party. Jonathan Shorman, Kansas City Star, 4 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for recognition 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'recognition.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 17 Jun. 2024.

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
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