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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

What's so healing about that is recognizing how many other people were on top of the mountain with us. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "When War Veterans Return to Iraq—This Time to Go Skiing," 29 Nov. 2018 Even cruise enthusiasts recognize how limiting the onboard activities are. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "The case against cruises," 15 Nov. 2018 Part of me was recognizing that there was a line that had been given and that this guy was repeating. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Google’s former PR boss Jessica Powell wrote a satirical novel about tech and published it all on Medium," 2 Oct. 2018 Opposition leader Juan Guaidó, who is recognized as Venezuela’s rightful president by more than 50 countries, including the U.S., will participate... Ryan Dube, WSJ, "Maduro’s Opposition Urges Military Force in Venezuela," 24 Feb. 2019 The new announcement proposes that: Only two ingredients – zinc oxide and titanium dioxide – are generally recognized safe and effective. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What the New Proposed FDA Sunscreen Regulations Mean for You," 22 Feb. 2019 Cameras, meanwhile, are best at recognizing objects by differentiating between, say, a heavy motorcycle and a lightweight bicycle. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Your Next Car Could Have Airbags That Inflate on the Outside," 15 Feb. 2019 The date change also meant that the country could honor Abraham Lincoln on the same day, so both men could be recognized together. Megan Stein, Country Living, "When is Presidents' Day and Why Do We Celebrate It?," 14 Feb. 2019 These institutions are accredited by the AOA’s Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA), which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "What Is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, and Should You See One?," 6 Feb. 2019

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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Last Updated

16 Mar 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 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

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