recognize

verb
rec·​og·​nize | \ ˈre-kig-ˌnīz How to pronounce recognize (audio) , -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 How to pronounce recognizability (audio) , -​kəg-​ \ noun
recognizable \ ˈre-​kəg-​ˌnī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce recognizable (audio) , -​kig-​ \ adjective
recognizably \ ˈre-​kəg-​ˌnī-​zə-​blē How to pronounce recognizably (audio) , -​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 The protein basically blocks the cell from recognizing that a virus is present, in a way that prevents interferon genes from being expressed. Sharon Begley, STAT, "‘It’s something I have never seen’: How the Covid-19 virus hijacks cells," 21 May 2020 In this horror story, the terror is in recognizing that our flight from one monster leaves us prey to another. Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, The New Republic, "The Unmattering of Black Lives," 21 May 2020 That tribe is not among the 573 recognized by the federal government. Fortune, "How a company misappropriated Native American culture to sell health insurance," 20 May 2020 New outbreaks will continue to flare and fester unless the country makes a serious effort to protect its most vulnerable citizens, recognizing that their risk is the result of societal failures, not personal ones. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "We Live in a Patchwork Pandemic Now," 20 May 2020 The banners recognizing those achievements will be removed from William R. Johnson Coliseum. Sam Blum, Dallas News, "‘They gotta point the finger at somebody’: Ex-Stephen F. Austin compliance leader says he’s not to blame for NCAA issues," 20 May 2020 This was also a tacit admission, very early, that the US government recognized the Army, not Sukarno, as the true leader of the country, even though Sukarno was still legally the president. Vincent Bevins, The New York Review of Books, "How ‘Jakarta’ Became the Codeword for US-Backed Mass Killing," 20 May 2020 People who have updated their phones with the latest software will be able to share their bluetooth signal, logging when the radio recognizes other people who have downloaded an app that uses the software. BostonGlobe.com, "CDC to study coronavirus antibodies in 25 metro areas," 20 May 2020 The president made a longtime promise vowed by past presidents to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem into reality, fully recognizing the latter as Israel's true capital. Mica Soellner, Washington Examiner, "Joe Biden vows to reverse Trump administration's policies in Israel if elected president," 19 May 2020

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

Time Traveler for recognize

Time Traveler

The first known use of recognize was in 1537

See more words from the same year

Statistics for recognize

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Recognize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recognize. Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for recognize

recognize

verb
How to pronounce recognize (audio)

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 How to pronounce recognize (audio) \
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

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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!