- 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 unrecognizable
His partly burned and partly decomposing face is unrecognizable as anyone who was ever alive and breathing.Who Is Behind Gaza's Mass Execution?
August 1, 2014
The City in the 70s would be unrecognizable to denizens of the gentrified metropolis of today.‘When the Garden Was Eden’: Why New York City Needs the Knicks Now More Than Ever
April 19, 2014
Fitting that his shining moment was as an unrecognizable shadow behind a screen.Billboard Music Awards 2013 Best Moments: Taylor Swift & More (VIDEO)
May 20, 2013
Only on vacation can you become a strange, unrecognizable version of yourself.One First-Timer’s Adventures in Culebra and Puerto Rico
March 14, 2013
The former actress is unrecognizable in a new photo posted on her Twitter account.Amanda Bynes’s Makeover Picture: WTF?!
March 12, 2013
What one man has, every man has, however hidden and unrecognizable.Weighed and Wanting
He could distinctly hear the rise and fall of their tones, but still they were unrecognizable.The Night Riders
The only thing they really had in common was that they were unrecognizable.Pagan Passions
Gordon Randall Garrett
"Some poetry, sir," came the crackling, unrecognizable sound of his voice.The Prussian Officer
D. H. Lawrence
Let us return to the unrecognizable thing that was once a Mole.The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles
Jean Henri Fabre
- not able to be recognized or identifiedtiny unrecognizable fragments
- 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 unrecognizable
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.