recognize

verb

rec·​og·​nize ˈre-kig-ˌnīz How to pronounce recognize (audio)
-kəg-
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 noun
recognizable adjective
recognizably adverb
recognizer noun

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Example Sentences

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.
Recent Examples on the Web These capabilities build on existing components, like the barometer, which can now detect cabin pressure changes, the GPS for additional input for speed changes, and the microphone, which can recognize loud noises typified by severe car crashes. Jacob Siegal, BGR, 21 Sep. 2022 This America is divided between those who recognize the humanity of the exhausted souls loaded onto those planes, and those who see them as worthless pawns to be deployed in the battle for political points. BostonGlobe.com, 17 Sep. 2022 On May 22, the Associated Press reported Childersburg Police officers responded to a 911 call for a suspicious person from a neighbor who didn't recognize the pastor — at first. Elaine Aradillas, Peoplemag, 13 Sep. 2022 Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando each landed Golden Ticket Awards, which recognize achievements in the theme park industry. Dewayne Bevil, Orlando Sentinel, 12 Sep. 2022 Formed in 2001, MWAGA is a volunteer group of people who have experienced the loss of a limb/limbs and who recognize the importance of participating in friendly competition while promoting the value of golf for rehabilitation. Bob Bong, Chicago Tribune, 6 Sep. 2022 Property law is replete with rules that recognize landowners’ rights in this low airspace, from condominium laws to the laws governing overhang easements. Troy Rule, Fortune, 2 Sep. 2022 Once you have been infected by an invader, the body takes steps to neutralize that specific invader in the future by creating antibodies that can recognize the invader quickly and defend against it. Bryant Stamford, The Courier-Journal, 25 Aug. 2022 Only Murders in the Building, but she is nominated for best actress – comedy (television) in the 37th annual Imagen Awards, which recognize the work of top Latino talent. Paul Grein, Billboard, 16 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1537, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of recognize was in 1537

Dictionary Entries Near recognize

Cite this Entry

“Recognize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recognize. Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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Kids Definition

recognize

verb

rec·​og·​nize ˈre-kig-ˌnīz How to pronounce recognize (audio)
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.

Legal Definition

recognize

transitive verb

rec·​og·​nize
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

More from Merriam-Webster on recognize

Last Updated: 24 Sep 2022

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