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

Bishop’s campaign is also working to put a dent into McCready, who has high name recognition after nearly 28 months on the campaign trail. NBC News, "North Carolina House race carries unlikely hangover from fraud scandal," 9 Sep. 2019 Victor also cautions against reading too much into polls because at this stage in the race many voters haven’t made up their minds and are heavily influenced by name recognition. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "2020 Democrats Will Face Off on One Stage for the First Time This Week. Here's Everything to Know About the September Debate," 8 Sep. 2019 Gbenda probably has more name recognition given his four-star rating and All-America status coming out of Katy Cinco Ranch. Nick Moyle, Houston Chronicle, "How a former walk-on DB and freshman LB became Texas' emergency RBs," 6 Sep. 2019 Only about a third of respondents trust technology companies with facial recognition and only 18 percent trust advertisers. Wired, "Poll Finds Americans Trust Police Use of Facial Recognition," 5 Sep. 2019 Even though Harp is a three-term incumbent with widespread name recognition, Elicker has raised more money and has more cash on hand for the crucial final week. Christopher Keating,, "In final days of New Haven mayoral primary race, Toni Harp and Justin M. Elicker fight for votes and donations," 5 Sep. 2019 Indeed, studies show that employees respond well not only to financial incentives but also to recognition and support of their work. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "These millennials were so burned out, they’re building a startup to combat burnout," 3 Sep. 2019 Day took several questions tangentially related to Fields’ recognition of coverages and pass rush and his decisions to stay in the pocket or run. Nathan Baird,, "Why a Justin Fields incompletion made Ohio State coach Ryan Day so happy," 3 Sep. 2019 The country seems primarily to be enhancing its domestic surveillance with facial-recognition and other identifying technologies, although U.S.experts say that technology could be quickly put to military use. The Atlantic, "Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots That Can Kill," 3 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for recognition

Last Updated

12 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

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 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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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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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