- 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 recognizing
First, though, he has to be shocked into recognizing the barren waste of his spiritual life – by spirits.How Dickens and Scrooge Saved Christmas
December 22, 2014
We need to “fix our schools,” even while recognizing that our efforts thus far are only works-in-progress.Your Local School Doesn’t Have to Suck
Michael S. Roth
December 17, 2014
Recognizing this is the first step away from a Hunger Games economy.The Hunger Games Economy
November 29, 2014
Naming a movement or giving it a single symbol is a natural way of recognizing this emerging power.You Say You Want to Name a Revolution?
October 5, 2014
And it has become a system far more driven by the demands of branding and marketing than by recognizing clearly discrete locality.Napa’s Earthquake Is Not The Only Thing Shaking The Vineyards
August 31, 2014
But, changed as he was, he was not slow in recognizing his old enemy, Robert Rushton.Brave and Bold
Not recognizing her, our store detective detained her for a short time.Within the Law
I took revenge on you for recognizing me by tormenting you as far as I dared.It Happened in Egypt
C. N. Williamson
This they use in calling to each other, and it is by recognizing the tone of the voice that they know who is calling.Johnny Bear
E. T. Seton
The Prussians let him come on, recognizing the uniform without any distrust.A Comedy of Marriage and Other Tales
Guy De Maupassant
- 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 recognizing
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.