Definition of recognizance in English:


(British recognisance)


  • A bond by which a person undertakes before a court or magistrate to observe some condition, especially to appear when summoned.

    ‘the Lord Chancellor asked them to enter into recognizances to appear in court’
    ‘he was released on his own recognizance of £30,000’
    • ‘She failed to comply with the terms of her release by failing to comply with the conditions of her recognizance.’
    • ‘They were released on their own recognisances pending their next court appearance on July 15.’
    • ‘To my surprise, she told me that she wouldn't oppose my request that Fred be released on his own recognizance.’
    • ‘It records that he has an extensive criminal record, including threats, numerous failures to comply with recognizances and probation orders and three failures to appear.’
    • ‘He was arrested for violating the terms of his recognizance.’


Middle English: from Old French reconnissance, from reconnaistre ‘recognize’.