Definition of recognition in English:



mass noun
  • 1Identification of someone or something or person from previous encounters or knowledge.

    ‘she saw him pass by without a sign of recognition’
    • ‘He doesn't show any sign of recognition either.’
    • ‘Wrapped in waterproofs I marvelled at how our little river had swollen out of all recognition, hurtling past laden with broken branches, fence posts and all manner of rubbish.’
    • ‘Actually, the world has changed bewilderingly since 1972, and the business of sport has been hyped up out of all recognition from the days when writers tapped out missives such as these on typewriters.’
    • ‘But now that he is dead, his body mutilated almost beyond recognition, it seems right to recall what he said.’
    • ‘It was a portrait of a country that has changed beyond all recognition for tourists who were regular visitors in the ‘bad old days’ of mass unemployment and emigration.’
    • ‘The range of audio aids available has improved out of all recognition in the last ten years or so, Betty says - but most people with hearing problems simply aren't aware of what is available.’
    • ‘Rescue forces were barely able to identify plane parts, let alone the identity of passengers, most of whom were burnt beyond recognition.’
    • ‘Many of the bodies have been burned beyond recognition, and few have so far been identified.’
    • ‘Relatives tried to identify the bodies, but most were burned beyond recognition.’
    • ‘What are his thoughts on modern Radio 1, changed beyond recognition from the station he launched in the Sixties?’
    • ‘The coroner of the Isle of Wight credits enthusiasts with metal detecters for ‘expanding our knowledge and changing it out of all recognition.’’
    • ‘In the past two seasons it has changed out of all recognition and the Six Nations has become so dynamic.’
    • ‘I am having this recurring nightmare that I will be stuck in traffic for so long that I will die and my body decompose beyond recognition before anyone notices.’
    • ‘The industry has changed out of all recognition and I think the time has come to call it a day.’
    • ‘Although its public and corporate relations have improved beyond recognition, the bank's executives have not always been the best at communicating the company's success to the City.’
    • ‘For the briefest moment he was confused, and then recognition dawned on him.’
    • ‘Stacy glances at us as we emerge, but she makes no sign of recognition.’
    • ‘At the same time our knowledge of biochemistry has grown out of all recognition.’
    • ‘I predict that 90% of white-collar jobs in the US will either be destroyed or altered beyond recognition in the next 10 to 15 years.’
    • ‘It was actually a deer-crossing sign, but it was dented and chipped almost beyond recognition by rifle shots, where the locals had been practising firing off rounds from a moving pick-up truck.’
    identification, recollection, recall, remembrance
    View synonyms
  • 2Acknowledgement of the existence, validity, or legality of something.

    ‘the unions must receive proper recognition’
    • ‘Thousands of people have signed a petition seeking official recognition from the government that the four were innocent.’
    • ‘To have proper legal recognition of our relationships doesn't take away the need for this hard work but it does help by giving a supportive structure within which to live.’
    • ‘Proper recognition and management of delayed and long-term adverse effects may be lifesaving for some patients.’
    • ‘The fact that these consequences were well understood at the time has received too little recognition in the current debate.’
    • ‘In 1970, I filed the first-ever suit against the state of California seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages.’
    • ‘Gay men and lesbians face many obstacles in winning legal recognition of their relationships.’
    • ‘They are crucial to proper recognition and treatment of the disorder, not just at the beginning but throughout.’
    • ‘No democracy can long survive which does not accept as fundamental to its very existence the recognition of the rights of minorities.’
    • ‘Neither was there official recognition of the existence of an accounting profession.’
    • ‘Much of these two basic tenets was retained after the United States of America won independence from Britain, and received some judicial recognition in the US Supreme Court.’
    • ‘Its existence reflects the growing recognition that the causes of human rights abuses and humanitarian crises are global ones that require global solutions.’
    • ‘European Community law requires the mutual recognition of qualifications, and this has been incorporated into English law.’
    • ‘Each agency of the Uniting Church is going to give proper recognition to local Aboriginal people.’
    • ‘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.’
    acknowledgement, acceptance, admission, conceding, concession, granting
    official approval, certification, accreditation, endorsement, sanctioning, validation, ratification
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Appreciation 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’
      • ‘He was given the special accolade by the Queen in recognition of his services to the Army.’
      • ‘She was acclaimed in the New Year's Honours List in recognition of her continued services to the tourism industry in York and Yorkshire.’
      • ‘But all too often their work has been done without proper reward or recognition.’
      • ‘He received international recognition for his work and wrote for many scientific publications as well as the National Geographic.’
      • ‘He deserves official recognition for his work here.’
      • ‘Doors open at 8pm and all are welcome to this special event which is in recognition of the invaluable service provided by Oasis House since it opened in 1989.’
      • ‘It was in recognition of such distinguished services in the industry that Mr. Patel was awarded the ‘Order of the British Empire’.’
      • ‘What he craves for is recognition and acknowledgement.’
      • ‘Delivering the Vietnam Veteran's Day speech, Premier Paul Lennon said he was pleased the veterans were now receiving proper recognition.’
      • ‘In recognition of his dutiful service, Ortega had been rewarded the post of Colombian governor.’
      • ‘Mandelbrot has received numerous honours and prizes in recognition of his remarkable achievements.’
      • ‘Earlier this year, she joined Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela in being made an Honorary Freeman of the City of Leeds in recognition of her outstanding service to music.’
      • ‘One of the region's top teachers was awarded a knighthood in recognition of his services to education.’
      • ‘A spokesman for Edinburgh City Council said the award was welcome recognition for the efforts of the environmental services department.’
      • ‘Bromley's sporting talent is to be rewarded in the Excellence Awards in recognition of their achievements.’
      • ‘Even when people are motivated by challenge and idealism, pay and recognition remain important.’
      • ‘Huxley has received widespread recognition for her humanistic achievements.’
      • ‘The awards are recognition of the achievement of exceptional standards in the production and handling of fresh produce.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In recognition of his dedicated service to the church, Rex was awarded a certificate during a celebration service at St John's Methodist Church, in Settle.’
      • ‘And in recognition of her sporting achievement, Katie was awarded our first sixth-form sports scholarship this year.’
      • ‘Everyone likes a bit of recognition or acknowledgement, and a bit of self-esteem was never a bad thing;’
      • ‘Now, in recognition of his remarkable achievement, he has been awarded a special long-service award by the Cheshire Agricultural Society.’
      • ‘An engineer from Hounslow who founded an award-winning medical company has received an honour from Brunel University in recognition of his outstanding service to the university and to enterprise.’
      appreciation, gratitude, thanks, congratulations, a pat on the back, hat tip, credit, commendation, acclaim, acclamation
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 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’
      • ‘Lee is perhaps the foremost symbol of Taiwan's aspirations to statehood and international recognition and his visit will be of huge importance.’
      • ‘So when claims for independence are made it will in the future be much harder for aspirant nationalisms to demand international recognition.’
      • ‘It is understood that a Rainbow Republic legal delegation is already in New York seeking formal recognition of the new country, and membership of the United Nations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 1957 Nkrumah renamed the new country Ghana and obtained recognition from the United Nations as an independent member of the British Commonwealth.’
      • ‘Speaking after several days of confusion, Vanuatu government spokesman Kalvau Moli said yesterday that formal recognition had been granted to Taipei.’
      • ‘The lack of formal recognition for Taiwan acts as an intolerable barrier to their international trading and commercial relations.’
      • ‘In such talks, Pyongyang would demand, as it has before, large sums of economic aid and political recognition for its totalitarian regime in exchange for promises not to use its weapons.’
      • ‘China sees Taiwan as a renegade province which does not deserve diplomatic recognition from the international community.’
      • ‘Under the internationally accepted ‘One China’ policy, Taiwan is formally considered a province of China and excluded from the United Nations and diplomatic recognition.’
      • ‘Yet the Badinter commission refused to grant recognition to the Republic of Kosova.’
      • ‘The Greek government's sustained veto over recognition of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia infuriated its partners.’
      • ‘Last Thursday, he sketched out his new vision of a peace deal that would grant recognition to an independent Palestinian state but left the issues of Jerusalem and refugees to a later date.’
      • ‘Under the terms of the treaty, Jakarta allocated Canberra much of the seabed wealth in return for formal recognition of Indonesia's military takeover of East Timor in 1975.’
      • ‘The US recognised Beijing as the legitimate government of the whole of China and ended its formal recognition of Taiwan.’
      • ‘In particular, the regime demands formal U.S. and international recognition of the permanence of the borders under its control.’
      • ‘Chen's speech also made clear his administration will step up the efforts to win international diplomatic recognition for the Republic of China.’


  • 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’
      • ‘I believe its original intention has been warped beyond recognition by greed.’
      • ‘The old man advised him to have his hair cut off, which would change his appearance beyond recognition.’
      • ‘Over the past 20 years the industrial relations system in Australia has undergone radical transformation almost beyond recognition.’
      • ‘The engine of the Union Pacific train, lying along a 90-degree curve of the track, was smashed almost beyond recognition.’
      • ‘Olympic ripples are changing my neighbourhood, almost beyond recognition.’
      • ‘They vanished without trace, changing the lives of the people who cared about them beyond recognition.’
      • ‘The numinous quality of the sunset changed a familiar landscape beyond recognition.’
      • ‘Witnesses said many of the dead were damaged beyond recognition.’
      • ‘In my 40-plus years of experience, the process has changed almost beyond recognition.’
      • ‘The banks of the Thames are changing 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).