Definition of recognize in English:


Syllabification: rec·og·nize
Pronunciation: /ˈrekigˌnīz, ˈrekə(g)ˌnīz


[with object]
  • 1Identify (someone or something) from having encountered them before; know again: I recognized her when her wig fell off Julia hardly recognized Jill when they met
    More example sentences
    • She said she hardly recognized her place when she got back to it.
    • They both were dressed like fashion models and wore so much makeup you hardly recognized them.
    • At first glance one would hardly recognize the place from the pictures the world saw on television in 1989.
  • 1.1Identify from knowledge of appearance or character: Pat is very good at recognizing wildflowers
    More example sentences
    • Because smallpox is typically transmitted via direct contact with an infected person, the presence of smallpox could be recognized by the appearance of symptoms.
    • Because pediatric cases of the condition are rarely recognized or reported, knowledge is limited and is based mostly on case reports and small numbers of patients.
    • The condition can be recognized by the appearance of a red line along the edge of the ‘paddlers’ at the rear of the crab.
    identify, place, know, put a name to; remember, recall, recollect; know by sight
  • 1.2(Of a computer or other machine) automatically identify and respond correctly to (a sound, printed character, etc.).
    More example sentences
    • Unlike many portables which require you to download drivers first, this one will plug into any computer and be recognised as a hard disk for you to transfer files.
    • How do I go about disabling the on-board sound so that the computer will recognize and use the new sound card?
    • We will develop computer software to automatically recognize the genre of documents by exploiting observed regularities of substance and form.
  • 2Acknowledge the existence, validity, or legality of: the defense is recognized in Mexican law he was recognized as an international authority [with clause]: it is important to recognize that a variety of indirect forms of discrimination operate
    More example sentences
    • Throughout the world, paternity leave has been recognized as an important means of reconciling the professional and familial lives of workers.
    • Excessive body fat, especially in areas such as the abdomen, is increasingly recognized as an important risk factor for killers like heart disease and diabetes.
    • Networking with experts in other disciplines and collaborating with statisticians should be recognized as an important way to conduct research and disseminate findings.
    acknowledge, accept, admit; realize, be aware of, be conscious of, perceive, discern, appreciate
    formal be cognizant of
    officially approve, certify, accredit, endorse, sanction, validate
  • 2.1Officially regard (a qualification) as valid or proper: these qualifications are recognized by the Department of Education (as adjective recognized) courses that lead to recognized qualifications
    More example sentences
    • Only if they pass these stages will they sit a final exam and gain the St Andrews Standard, a qualification that will be recognised around the world.
    • We feared in the past that mainland academic qualifications would not be recognised and we could not get a job with that.
    • But she admitted that the intermediate qualifications were not being recognised by employers.
  • 2.2Grant diplomatic recognition to (a country or government): they were refusing to recognize the puppet regime
    More example sentences
    • He called on other opposition political leaders to fully recognise the new Government and work with it to develop Zambia.
    • The resolution paves the way for an internationally recognised representative Government of Iraq to be formed.
    • On a brief visit to Fiji, New Zealand Foreign Minister Geoff Goff declared that his country refused to recognise the interim government as constitutional.
  • 2.3Show official appreciation of; reward formally: his work was recognized by an honorary degree from Georgetown University
    More example sentences
    • Carers in Portlaoise are being formally recognised for the first time with City & Guild certificates.
    • The Army must also reward or recognize those who serve in positions that cultivate the broad perspectives that are necessary to acquire strategic leadership skills.
    • The bravery of seven Solomon Islands men who rescued three Australian soldiers on August 30 has been formally recognised.
    pay tribute to, show appreciation of/for, appreciate, be grateful for, acclaim, commend
  • 2.4(Of a person presiding at a meeting or debate) call on (someone) to speak.
    More example sentences
    • As the presiding officer, he recognises those members who wish to speak.
    • The gentleman's time is expired. The Chair recognizes Governor Thompson.
    • The chair recognized Representative Hochberg to explain the measure.



More example sentences
  • Once the patterns are established, the recognizer can make the matches and guess that a speaker is angry because they are speaking louder and with exaggerated emphasis.
  • Feature recognizers check the headers or the body of the e-mail looking for patterns that human beings have identified as markers of spam or non-spam mail.
  • Early speech-recognition systems were discrete speech recognizers requiring users to pause between each word for 200 milliseconds.


late Middle English (earliest attested as a term in Scots law): from Old French reconniss-, stem of reconnaistre, from Latin recognoscere 'know again, recall to mind', from re- 'again' + cognoscere 'learn'.

More definitions of recognize

Definition of recognize in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody