Definition of recognition in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /rɛkəɡˈnɪʃ(ə)n/


[mass noun]
1The action or process of recognizing or being recognized, in particular:
1.1Identification of a thing or person from previous encounters or knowledge: she saw him pass by without a sign of recognition methods of production have improved out of all recognition
More example sentences
  • The coroner of the Isle of Wight credits enthusiasts with metal detecters for ‘expanding our knowledge and changing it out of all recognition.’
  • Many of the bodies have been burned beyond recognition, and few have so far been identified.
  • At the same time our knowledge of biochemistry has grown out of all recognition.
1.2Acknowledgement of the existence, validity, or legality of something: the unions must receive proper recognition
More example sentences
  • The Indian people of Mexico are on the verge of gaining recognition of their existence and having their rights become a political fact in the constitutional and social reality of Mexico.
  • There are now some two to three million people in the world seeking some form of constitutional recognition of their existence, as a group, and some form of self-government.
  • Neither was there official recognition of the existence of an accounting profession.
acknowledgement, acceptance, admission, conceding, concession, granting;
realization, awareness, consciousness, knowledge, perception, appreciation, understanding, apprehension, cognizance
official approval, certification, accreditation, endorsement, sanctioning, validation, ratification
1.3Appreciation or acclaim for an achievement, service, or ability: his work was slow to gain recognition she received the award in recognition of her human rights work
More example sentences
  • She was acclaimed in the New Year's Honours List in recognition of her continued services to the tourism industry in York and Yorkshire.
  • At a ceremony to be held in the Sligo Park Hotel next September a group of local players are to be honoured by Rovers in recognition of their services to the club.
  • Mandelbrot has received numerous honours and prizes in recognition of his remarkable achievements.
appreciation, gratitude, thanks, congratulations, a pat on the back, hat tip, credit, commendation, acclaim, acclamation;
tributes, acknowledgement, reward, honour, homage, applause, a round of applause, accolades;
a mention
informal bouquets, brownie points
1.4 (also diplomatic recognition) Formal acknowledgement by a country that another political entity fulfils the conditions of statehood and is eligible to be dealt with as a member of the international community: they are granting full recognition to the republic
More example sentences
  • In 1992 the country became a sovereign state as a direct result of recognition by member states of the European Union and the United States.
  • The lack of formal recognition for Taiwan acts as an intolerable barrier to their international trading and commercial relations.
  • The US recognised Beijing as the legitimate government of the whole of China and ended its formal recognition of Taiwan.


beyond recognition

So as to be no longer recognizable: within a few years, the Soviet Union changed almost beyond recognition methods of production have improved beyond all recognition
More example sentences
  • Witnesses said many of the dead were damaged beyond recognition.
  • They vanished without trace, changing the lives of the people who cared about them beyond recognition.
  • Olympic ripples are changing my neighbourhood, almost beyond recognition.


Late 15th century (denoting the acknowledgement of a service): from Latin recognitio(n-), from the verb recognoscere 'know again, recall to mind' (see recognize).

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.