recognize

verb rec·og·nize \ ˈre-kig-ˌnīz , -kəg- \
Updated on: 12 Dec 2017

Definition of recognize

recognized; recognizing
transitive verb
1 : to acknowledge formally: such as
a : to admit as being lord or sovereign
b : to admit as being of a particular status
c : to admit as being one entitled to be heard : give the floor to
d : to acknowledge the de facto existence or the independence of
2 : to acknowledge or take notice of in some definite way: such as
a : to acknowledge with a show of appreciation
  • recognize an act of bravery with the award of a medal
b : to acknowledge acquaintance with
  • recognize a neighbor with a nod
3 a : to perceive to be something or someone previously known
  • recognized the word
b : to perceive clearly : realize

recognizability

play \ˌre-kig-ˌnī-zə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -kəg-\ noun

recognizable

play \ˈre-kəg-ˌnī-zə-bəl, -kig-\ adjective

recognizably

play \ˈre-kəg-ˌnī-zə-blē, -kig-\ adverb

recognizer

noun

Examples of recognize in a Sentence

  1. I didn't recognize you at first with your new haircut.

  2. I can always recognize him from far away by the way he walks.

  3. They recognized the odor at once.

  4. The U.S. government has now recognized the newly formed country.

  5. They refused to recognize the treaty.

Recent Examples of recognize from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'recognize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of recognize

modification of Anglo-French reconois-, stem of reconoistre, from Latin recognoscere, from re- + cognoscere to know — more at cognition


RECOGNIZE Defined for English Language Learners

recognize

verb

Definition of recognize for English Language Learners

  • : to know and remember (someone or something) because of previous knowledge or experience

  • : to accept or be aware that (something) is true or exists

  • : to accept and approve of (something) as having legal or official authority


RECOGNIZE Defined for Kids

recognize

verb rec·og·nize \ ˈre-kig-ˌnīz \

Definition of recognize for Students

recognized; recognizing
1 : to know and remember upon seeing
  • I recognized an old friend.
2 : to be willing to accept
  • I recognized my own faults.
3 : to take approving notice of
  • They recognized his bravery with a medal.

Law Dictionary

recognize

transitive verb rec·og·nize

legal Definition of recognize

recognized; recognizing
1 : to acknowledge formally: as
a : to admit as being of a particular status
  • recognize a precedent
  • recognize a union
; specifically : to acknowledge (as a right, cause of action, or defense) as valid
b : to admit as being one entitled to be heard : give the floor to
c : to acknowledge the de facto existence or the independence of
  • refused to recognize the new government
2 : to account for as real, received, or incurred and treat and record appropriately; specifically : to account for (a gain, loss, expense, or income) on current accounting or tax records
  • recognized the gain when she included it as income on her tax return
— compare realize


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