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recognize

[rek-uhg-nahyz]
verb (used with object), rec·og·nized, rec·og·niz·ing.
  1. to identify as something or someone previously seen, known, etc.: He had changed so much that one could scarcely recognize him.
  2. to identify from knowledge of appearance or characteristics: I recognized him from the description. They recognized him as a fraud.
  3. to perceive as existing or true; realize: to be the first to recognize a fact.
  4. to acknowledge as the person entitled to speak at a particular time: The Speaker recognized the congressman from Maine.
  5. to acknowledge formally as entitled to treatment as a political unit: The United States promptly recognized Israel.
  6. to acknowledge or accept formally a specified factual or legal situation: to recognize a successful revolutionary regime as the de facto government of the country.
  7. to acknowledge or treat as valid: to recognize a claim.
  8. to acknowledge acquaintance with, as by a greeting, handshake, etc.
  9. to show appreciation of (achievement, service, merit, etc.), as by some reward, public honor, or the like.
  10. Law. to acknowledge (an illegitimate child) as one's own.
  11. Biochemistry, Immunology. to bind with, cleave, or otherwise react to (another substance) as a result of fitting its molecular shape or a portion of its shape.
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Also especially British, rec·og·nise.

Origin of recognize

1425–75; recogn(ition) + -ize; replacing late Middle English racunnysen, recognisen < Old French reconuiss-, stem of reconuistre < Latin recognōscere, equivalent to re- re- + cognōscere to know1; see cognition
Related formsrec·og·niz·a·ble [rek-uhg-nahy-zuh-buhl, rek-uhg-nahy-] /ˈrɛk əgˌnaɪ zə bəl, ˌrɛk əgˈnaɪ-/, adjectiverec·og·niz·a·bil·i·ty, nounrec·og·niz·a·bly, adverbrec·og·niz·er, nounnon·rec·og·nized, adjectivepre·rec·og·nize, verb (used with object), pre·rec·og·nized, pre·rec·og·niz·ing.qua·si-rec·og·nized, adjectiveun·rec·og·niz·a·ble, adjectiveun·rec·og·niz·a·bly, adverbun·rec·og·nized, adjectiveun·rec·og·niz·ing, adjectivewell-rec·og·nized, adjective

Synonyms for recognize

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for recognise

Contemporary Examples of recognise

Historical Examples of recognise

  • If any love is shown us we should recognise that we are quite unworthy of it.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • But to recognise that the soul of a man is unknowable, is the ultimate achievement of wisdom.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

  • When the young man was pointed out to him, he did not recognise him at all.

    The Dream

    Emile Zola

  • Every Speyside man will recognise from this exordium that I am about to treat of "Geordie."

  • I can recognise a fine book when I see it, but I can't create one.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine


British Dictionary definitions for recognise

recognize

recognise

verb (tr)
  1. to perceive (a person, creature, or thing) to be the same as or belong to the same class as something previously seen or known; know again
  2. to accept or be aware of (a fact, duty, problem, etc)to recognize necessity
  3. to give formal acknowledgment of the status or legality of (a government, an accredited representative, etc)
  4. mainly US and Canadian to grant (a person) the right to speak in a deliberative body, debate, etc
  5. to give a token of thanks for (a service rendered, etc)
  6. to make formal acknowledgment of (a claim, etc)
  7. to show approval or appreciation of (something good or pleasing)
  8. to acknowledge or greet (a person), as when meeting by chance
  9. (intr) mainly US to enter into a recognizance
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Derived Formsrecognizable or recognisable, adjectiverecognizability or recognisability, nounrecognizably or recognisably, adverbrecognizer or recogniser, noun

Word Origin for recognize

C15: from Latin recognoscere to know again, from re- + cognoscere to know, ascertain
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for recognise

v.

chiefly British English spelling of recognize; for spelling, see -ize. Related: Recognised; recognising; recognisance.

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recognize

v.

early 15c., "resume possession of land," back-formation from recognizance, or else from Old French reconoiss-, stem of reconoistre "to know again, identify, recognize," from Latin recognoscere "acknowledge, recall to mind, know again; examine; certify," from re- "again" (see re-) + cognoscere "know" (see cognizance). Meaning "know again, recall or recover the knowledge of, perceive an identity with something formerly known or felt" first recorded 1530s. Related: Recognized; recognizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper