recognizance

play
noun re·cog·ni·zance \ri-ˈkäg-nə-zən(t)s, -ˈkä-nə-\

Definition of recognizance

  1. 1a :  an obligation of record entered into before a court or magistrate requiring the performance of an act (such as appearance in court) usually under penalty of a money forfeiture released on his own recognizanceb :  the sum liable to forfeiture upon such an obligation

  2. 2 archaic :  token, pledge

Origin and Etymology of recognizance

Middle English recognissance, alteration of reconissaunce, from Anglo-French, from reconoistre to recognize


First Known Use: 14th century


RECOGNIZANCE Defined for English Language Learners

recognizance

play
noun re·cog·ni·zance \ri-ˈkäg-nə-zən(t)s, -ˈkä-nə-\

Definition of recognizance for English Language Learners

  • law : a legal promise made by someone before a court of law that must be kept to avoid being punished


Law Dictionary

recognizance

play
noun re·cog·ni·zance \ri-ˈkäg-nə-zəns\

Legal Definition of recognizance

  1. 1 :  an obligation entered into on the record before a court or magistrate requiring the performance of an act (as the paying of a debt) usually under penalty of a money forfeiture; also :  the sum liable to forfeiture

  2. 2 :  a simple personal obligation or undertaking (as to appear in court) entered into before a magistrate and having no money penalty attached released on his own recognizance

Origin and Etymology of recognizance

Anglo-French recognisance reconisance, literally, recognition, from Old French reconoisance, from reconoistre to recognize, from Latin recognoscere





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up recognizance? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

a person who is a bore or nuisance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • peter-bruegel-tower-of-babel-painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!