- to identify as something or someone previously seen, known, etc.: He had changed so much that one could scarcely recognize him.
- to identify from knowledge of appearance or characteristics: I recognized him from the description. They recognized him as a fraud.
- to perceive as existing or true; realize: to be the first to recognize a fact.
- to acknowledge as the person entitled to speak at a particular time: The Speaker recognized the congressman from Maine.
- to acknowledge formally as entitled to treatment as a political unit: The United States promptly recognized Israel.
- 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.
- to acknowledge or treat as valid: to recognize a claim.
- to acknowledge acquaintance with, as by a greeting, handshake, etc.
- to show appreciation of (achievement, service, merit, etc.), as by some reward, public honor, or the like.
- Law. to acknowledge (an illegitimate child) as one's own.
- 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.
Origin of recognize
SynonymsSee more synonyms for recognize on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for recognize
We have also seen countries like Sweden recognize Palestine as a state.In the Middle East, the Two-State Solution Is Dead
January 2, 2015
I recognize my inability to truly understand these events in the same context or view these events through exactly the same prism.Dr. Howard Fuller's Injustice Education
December 21, 2014
The trick is to be able to recognize the right one when it comes along.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
After all, our bodies are hard wired to recognize the difference between “me” and “not me.”Ferguson, Immigration, and ‘Us Vs. Them’
November 27, 2014
It only takes one glance of Alton's Ebola Survival Handbook to recognize the real threat: him.The Sham, Scaremongering Guide to Ebola
November 20, 2014
It does not matter whether we recognize a king or an emperor or a president as our ruler.Ancient Man
Hendrik Willem van Loon
The bill of fare contains nothing which they recognize as such.The New Adam and Eve (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
And now, thought I, am I to be ordered down to recognize my own proposals.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
At times he seemed to recognize for a moment some of those with him.The Grand Old Man
Richard B. Cook
He supposed me to be some passing stranger, and did not recognize me.Biography of a Slave
- 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
- to accept or be aware of (a fact, duty, problem, etc)to recognize necessity
- to give formal acknowledgment of the status or legality of (a government, an accredited representative, etc)
- mainly US and Canadian to grant (a person) the right to speak in a deliberative body, debate, etc
- to give a token of thanks for (a service rendered, etc)
- to make formal acknowledgment of (a claim, etc)
- to show approval or appreciation of (something good or pleasing)
- to acknowledge or greet (a person), as when meeting by chance
- (intr) mainly US to enter into a recognizance
Word Origin and History for recognize
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.