recognize

verb
rec·​og·​nize | \ ˈre-kig-ˌnīz How to pronounce recognize (audio) , -kəg- \
recognized; recognizing

Essential Meaning of recognize

1 : to know and remember (someone or something) because of previous knowledge or experience I didn't recognize you at first with your new haircut. I can always recognize him from far away by/from the way he walks. They recognized the odor at once.
2 : to accept or be aware that (something) is true or exists It's important to recognize [=be aware of] your own faults. They started talking and quickly recognized [=realized] how much they had in common.
3 : to accept and approve of (something) as having legal or official authority The U.S. government has now recognized the newly formed country. They refused to recognize the treaty.

Full 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 recognize (audio) , -​kəg-​ \ noun
recognizable \ ˈre-​kəg-​ˌnī-​zə-​bəl How to pronounce recognize (audio) , -​kig-​ \ adjective
recognizably \ ˈre-​kəg-​ˌnī-​zə-​blē How to pronounce recognize (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 The royal family will soon recognize five climate change warriors as part of Sunday's inaugural Earthshot Prize Awards at Alexandra Palace in London. Glenn Garner, PEOPLE.com, 16 Oct. 2021 The awards recognize the top country radio shows and stations in the U.S. and Canada. Mia Nazareno, Billboard, 15 Oct. 2021 People recognize that as a tragedy, when that person is not in that child’s life. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, 15 Oct. 2021 Fans familiar with many forms of motorsports may recognize a few faces. Rob Peeters, The Indianapolis Star, 14 Oct. 2021 Members of the Red Sox recognize Bogaerts, who turned 29 this month, as an organizational anchor based on both pedigree and presence. BostonGlobe.com, 14 Oct. 2021 Managers need to recognize the importance of when an employee confides in them. Shane Green, Forbes, 13 Oct. 2021 Listeners might recognize the story but not necessarily the author’s name. Kathy Cichon, chicagotribune.com, 13 Oct. 2021 Diners familiar with Sterling’s cooking at Vic’s will recognize the big flavors, rollicking contrast and no-fear-fat in plates like these. Caroline Hatchett, Robb Report, 13 Oct. 2021

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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Learn More About recognize

Time Traveler for recognize

Time Traveler

The first known use of recognize was in 1537

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Dictionary Entries Near recognize

recognizant

recognize

recognizedly

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Last Updated

18 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Recognize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/recognize. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for recognize

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

More from Merriam-Webster on recognize

Nglish: Translation of recognize for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of recognize for Arabic Speakers

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