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[rek-uh g-nish-uh n] /ˌrɛk əgˈnɪʃ ən/
an act of recognizing or the state of being recognized.
the identification of something as having been previously seen, heard, known, etc.
the perception of something as existing or true; realization.
the acknowledgment of something as valid or as entitled to consideration:
the recognition of a claim.
the acknowledgment of achievement, service, merit, etc.
the expression of this in the form of some token of appreciation:
This promotion constitutes our recognition of her exceptional ability.
formal acknowledgment conveying approval or sanction.
acknowledgment of right to be heard or given attention:
The chairman refused recognition to any delegate until order could be restored.
International Law. an official act by which one state acknowledges the existence of another state or government, or of belligerency or insurgency.
the automated conversion of information, as words or images, into a form that can be processed by a machine, especially a computer or computerized device.
Biochemistry. the responsiveness of one substance to another based on the reciprocal fit of a portion of their molecular shapes.
Origin of recognition
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English recognicion (< Old French) < Latin recognitiōn- (stem of recognitiō), equivalent to recognit(us) (past participle of recognōscere; see recognize) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
recognitional, adjective
[ri-kog-ni-tiv] /rɪˈkɒg nɪ tɪv/ (Show IPA),
[ri-kog-ni-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] /rɪˈkɒg nɪˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i/ (Show IPA),
prerecognition, noun
unrecognitory, adjective
5. notice, acceptance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for recognition
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • When he came, Paralus looked upon him with a smile of recognition, and said, "My father!"

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • But the recognition of his merit came sooner than could have been expected.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • After a sort of shyness in the recognition, he turns back with them.

  • He told them what had happened, the meeting, the recognition.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • And yet, it seems to me, this is the beginning of our recognition of the Divine.

British Dictionary definitions for recognition


the act of recognizing or fact of being recognized
acceptance or acknowledgment of a claim, duty, fact, truth, etc
a token of thanks or acknowledgment
formal acknowledgment of a government or of the independence of a country
(mainly US & Canadian) an instance of a chairman granting a person the right to speak in a deliberative body, debate, etc
Derived Forms
recognitive (rɪˈkɒɡnɪtɪv), recognitory, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin recognitiō, from 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
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Word Origin and History for recognition

mid-15c., "knowledge of an event or incident; understanding," from Middle French recognition (15c.) and directly from Latin recognitionem (nominative recognitio) "a reviewing, investigation, examination," noun of action from past participle stem of recognoscere "to acknowledge, know again; examine" (see recognize).

Sense of "formal avowal of knowledge and approval" is from 1590s; especially acknowledgement of the independence of a country by a state formerly exercising sovereignty (1824). Meaning "a knowing again" is from 1798.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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recognition in Medicine

recognition rec·og·ni·tion (rěk'əg-nĭsh'ən)

  1. An awareness that something perceived has been perceived before.

  2. The ability of one molecule to attach itself to another molecule having a complementary shape, as in enzyme-substrate interactions.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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recognition in Culture

recognition definition

In diplomacy, the act by which one nation acknowledges that a foreign government is a legitimate government and exchanges diplomats with it. The withholding of recognition is a way for one government to show its disapproval of another.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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