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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Last June, Oregon became the first to recognize a nonbinary gender option on driver’s licenses. Kainaz Amaria, Vox, "2018, explained in pictures by women and non-binary photographers," 21 Dec. 2018 Hallmark aficionados are bound to recognize Daniel Lissing, the male lead in the channel’s upcoming movie, Christmas In Love. Emma Dibdin, Country Living, "Who Is Daniel Lissing? Meet the Star of Hallmark’s New Movie ‘Christmas In Love’," 11 Nov. 2018 My sister—who barely pays attention to pop culture and may not even recognize her—wants to meet her. Christopher Rosa, Teen Vogue, "Kendall Jenner Was Reportedly Annoyed By How Strict Meghan Markle's Security Was," 17 Dec. 2018 The first issue here is that people with hypomania and mania may not recognize that the symptoms are indicative of a disorder. Korin Miller, SELF, "9 Things to Know About the Surprisingly Subtle Hypomanic Episodes of Bipolar Disorder," 30 Nov. 2018 The award recognizes continuous outstanding service to the community, district and Lions Clubs International. Linda Mcintosh, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Lions Club member receives fellowship award ...community news," 14 July 2018 My sister—who barely pays attention to pop-culture and may not even recognize her—wants to meet her. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Meghan Markle's Security Is So Intense It Reportedly Annoyed Kendall Jenner," 17 Dec. 2018 Similarly, the iCloud client could be installed on Windows 1809 because Apple had a broken version check that didn't recognize that version 1809 was indeed the current Windows version. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Windows 10 1809: iCloud incompatibility fixed, but other blockers remain," 28 Nov. 2018 One example of how Aetna is committed to recognizing and caring for the whole person is Aetna Community Care, a new program launched earlier this year. Karen S. Lynch, STAT, "Everyone deserves a holistic, patient-centric health care system," 12 July 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.

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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

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Statistics for recognize

Last Updated

19 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for recognize

The first known use of recognize was in 1537

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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

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Comments on recognize

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