rec·​og·​ni·​tion ˌre-kig-ˈni-shən How to pronounce recognition (audio)
: the action of recognizing : the state of being recognized: such as
: acknowledgment
especially : formal acknowledgment of the political existence of a government or nation
: knowledge or feeling that someone or something present has been encountered before
: special notice or attention
: the sensing and encoding of printed or written data by a machine
optical character recognition
magnetic ink character recognition

Examples of recognition in a Sentence

The procedure is gaining recognition as the latest advance in organ transplant surgery. The Olympic Committee gave official recognition to the sport. His smile was a recognition that things were not so bad. Her paintings received recognition from her fellow artists. All she wanted was some recognition for her work. He finally received the recognition that he deserved. They were awarded medals in recognition of their bravery.
Recent Examples on the Web Maria’s is a plainly sympathetic position that will get a wince of recognition from many parents who have experienced unequal childcare division. Guy Lodge, Variety, 5 July 2024 This was the most self-serving gesture on his part apparently done to get recognition in this election year as well as needing something to say about himself during the debate. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 5 July 2024 Afterward, Hocker expected recognition and a possible medal for the successful and unprecedented operation. Dan De Luce, NBC News, 4 July 2024 And platforms will likely have to conduct assessments for some data collection in order to prevent riskier data breaches of particularly sensitive data, such as biometric or facial recognition data. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 2 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for recognition 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'recognition.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English recognicion, from Anglo-French recognition, from Latin recognition-, recognitio, from recognoscere

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of recognition was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near recognition

Cite this Entry

“Recognition.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


rec·​og·​ni·​tion ˌrek-ig-ˈnish-ən How to pronounce recognition (audio)
: the act of recognizing
: acknowledgment of something done or given
got a medal in recognition of bravery
: formal acknowledgment of the political existence of a government or nation
: special attention or notice

Medical Definition


rec·​og·​ni·​tion ˌrek-əg-ˈnish-ən How to pronounce recognition (audio)
: the form of memory that consists in knowing or feeling that a present object has been met before

Legal Definition


rec·​og·​ni·​tion ˌre-kəg-ˈni-shən How to pronounce recognition (audio)
: the act, process, or fact of recognizing
: the state of being recognized
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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