From Latin recognitionem (accusative of recognitio), from stem recognit, past participle of recognoscere.


  • IPA(key): /ˌɹɛkəɡˈnɪʃən/
  • (file)


recognition (usually uncountable, plural recognitions)

  1. The act of recognizing or the condition of being recognized (matching a current observation with a memory of a prior observation of the same entity).
    He looked at her for ten full minutes before recognition dawned.
    • 1900, Charles W. Chesnutt, The House Behind the Cedars, Chapter I,
      Warwick observed, as they passed through the respectable quarter, that few people who met the girl greeted her, and that some others whom she passed at gates or doorways gave her no sign of recognition; from which he inferred that she was possibly a visitor in the town and not well acquainted.
  2. Acceptance as valid or true.
    The law was a recognition of their civil rights.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      With fresh material, taxonomic conclusions are leavened by recognition that the material examined reflects the site it occupied; a herbarium packet gives one only a small fraction of the data desirable for sound conclusions. Herbarium material does not, indeed, allow one to extrapolate safely: what you see is what you get []
  3. Official acceptance of the status of a new government by that of another country.
  4. Honour, favourable note, or attention.
    The charity gained plenty of recognition for its efforts, but little money.
  5. (immunology) The propriety consisting for antibodies to bind to some specific antigens and not to others.
  6. (Scotland, law, historical) A return of the feu to the superior.

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The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

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