recognize

verb
rec·​og·​nize | \ ˈre-kig-ˌnīz , -kəg-\
recognized; recognizing

Definition of recognize

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
3a : to perceive to be something or someone previously known recognized the word
b : to perceive clearly : realize

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from recognize

recognizability \ ˌre-​kig-​ˌnī-​zə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē , -​kəg-​ \ noun
recognizable \ ˈre-​kəg-​ˌnī-​zə-​bəl , -​kig-​ \ adjective
recognizably \ ˈre-​kəg-​ˌnī-​zə-​blē , -​kig-​ \ adverb
recognizer noun

Examples of recognize in a Sentence

I didn't recognize you at first with your new haircut. I can always recognize him from far away by the way he walks. They recognized the odor at once. The U.S. government has now recognized the newly formed country. They refused to recognize the treaty.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other U.S. officials are exerting diplomatic pressure on Riyadh to do more, recognizing a growing bipartisan backlash in Congress that could curb U.S.-Saudi military ties and restrict arms sales. Summer Said, WSJ, "U.S. Seeks Accountability for Former Saudi Aide in Khashoggi Killing," 11 Feb. 2019 Scientists are still working to figure out the exact relationship between physical brain damage and the start of symptoms — and are recognizing that behavior symptoms can occur without detectable physical changes. Brian Resnick, Vox, "What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain," 4 Feb. 2019 Over one year later on June 2, 1953, Elizabeth was officially coronated and recognized as the Queen of England. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "The Heartbreaking Way Queen Elizabeth II Learned About the Death of Her Father, King George VI," 1 Feb. 2019 Hemsworth was one of three Australians honored at the event, and was awarded with the G’Day USA Excellence in Film award, recognizing his appearances in movies such as The Hunger Games and Independence Day: Resurgence. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Liam Hemsworth Called Miley Cyrus His 'Beautiful Wife' & I Am Not Okay," 27 Jan. 2019 If management has recognized a union but hasn’t yet to agree to a contract, then the negotiations can get more complicated because management has to make a one-off deal with the bargaining committee. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "As digital media companies brace for change, unions try to cushion the blow," 26 Dec. 2018 The collection is called Drew House and some fans might recognize its signature happy face logo which Justin has been seen rocking while out and about in LA. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Hailey Baldwin Showed Off Justin Bieber's New Clothing Line – Here's Where You Can Buy It," 26 Dec. 2018 These let Lovot recognize sounds, identify individual humans, and distinguish people and pets from furniture using thermal vision. James Vincent, The Verge, "Japan’s latest home robot isn’t useful — it’s designed to be loved," 20 Dec. 2018 Eventually the middle class seized the trend, recognizing its versatility and high-end look that would stand the test of time. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need To Know About The Classic Chesterfield Sofa," 26 Nov. 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of recognize

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for recognize

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about recognize

Statistics for recognize

Last Updated

16 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recognize

The first known use of recognize was in 1537

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for recognize

recognize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of recognize

: 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

verb
rec·​og·​nize | \ ˈre-kig-ˌnīz \
recognized; recognizing

Kids Definition of recognize

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.

recognize

transitive verb
rec·​og·​nize
recognized; recognizing

Legal Definition of recognize

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on recognize

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to express emotion in a dramatic way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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!