Definition of recognition in US English:



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

    ‘she saw him pass by without a sign of recognition’
    • ‘But now that he is dead, his body mutilated almost beyond recognition, it seems right to recall what he said.’
    • ‘He doesn't show any sign of recognition either.’
    • ‘Relatives tried to identify the bodies, but most were burned beyond recognition.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘For the briefest moment he was confused, and then recognition dawned on him.’
    • ‘In the past two seasons it has changed out of all recognition and the Six Nations has become so dynamic.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Stacy glances at us as we emerge, but she makes no sign of recognition.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many of the bodies have been burned beyond recognition, and few have so far been identified.’
    • ‘Rescue forces were barely able to identify plane parts, let alone the identity of passengers, most of whom were burnt beyond recognition.’
    • ‘At the same time our knowledge of biochemistry has grown out of all recognition.’
    • ‘What are his thoughts on modern Radio 1, changed beyond recognition from the station he launched in the Sixties?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The industry has changed out of all recognition and I think the time has come to call it a day.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 coroner of the Isle of Wight credits enthusiasts with metal detecters for ‘expanding our knowledge and changing it out of all recognition.’’
    identification, recollection, recall, remembrance
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  • 2Acknowledgment of something's existence, validity, or legality.

    ‘the unions must receive proper recognition’
    • ‘Proper recognition and management of delayed and long-term adverse effects may be lifesaving for some patients.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Neither was there official recognition of the existence of an accounting profession.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The fact that these consequences were well understood at the time has received too little recognition in the current debate.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Gay men and lesbians face many obstacles in winning legal recognition of their relationships.’
    • ‘No democracy can long survive which does not accept as fundamental to its very existence the recognition of the rights of minorities.’
    • ‘In 1970, I filed the first-ever suit against the state of California seeking legal recognition of same-sex marriages.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Each agency of the Uniting Church is going to give proper recognition to local Aboriginal people.’
    • ‘They are crucial to proper recognition and treatment of the disorder, not just at the beginning but throughout.’
    • ‘Thousands of people have signed a petition seeking official recognition from the government that the four were innocent.’
    acknowledgement, acceptance, admission, conceding, concession, granting
    official approval, certification, accreditation, endorsement, sanctioning, validation, ratification
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    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 courageous human rights work’
      • ‘But all too often their work has been done without proper reward or recognition.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What he craves for is recognition and acknowledgement.’
      • ‘And in recognition of her sporting achievement, Katie was awarded our first sixth-form sports scholarship this year.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He deserves official recognition for his work here.’
      • ‘Delivering the Vietnam Veteran's Day speech, Premier Paul Lennon said he was pleased the veterans were now receiving proper recognition.’
      • ‘Everyone likes a bit of recognition or acknowledgement, and a bit of self-esteem was never a bad thing;’
      • ‘Even when people are motivated by challenge and idealism, pay and recognition remain important.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bromley's sporting talent is to be rewarded in the Excellence Awards in recognition of their achievements.’
      • ‘One of the region's top teachers was awarded a knighthood in recognition of his services to education.’
      • ‘In recognition of his dutiful service, Ortega had been rewarded the post of Colombian governor.’
      • ‘Now, in recognition of his remarkable achievement, he has been awarded a special long-service award by the Cheshire Agricultural Society.’
      • ‘He was given the special accolade by the Queen in recognition of his services to the Army.’
      • ‘Mandelbrot has received numerous honours and prizes in recognition of his remarkable achievements.’
      • ‘Huxley has received widespread recognition for her humanistic achievements.’
      • ‘She was acclaimed in the New Year's Honours List in recognition of her continued services to the tourism industry in York and Yorkshire.’
      • ‘It was in recognition of such distinguished services in the industry that Mr. Patel was awarded the ‘Order of the British Empire’.’
      • ‘The awards are recognition of the achievement of exceptional standards in the production and handling of fresh produce.’
      • ‘A spokesman for Edinburgh City Council said the award was welcome recognition for the efforts of the environmental services department.’
      • ‘He received international recognition for his work and wrote for many scientific publications as well as the National Geographic.’
      appreciation, gratitude, thanks, congratulations, a pat on the back, hat tip, credit, commendation, acclaim, acclamation
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 Formal acknowledgment by a country that another political entity fulfills the conditions of statehood and is eligible to be dealt with as a member of the international community.
      • ‘China sees Taiwan as a renegade province which does not deserve diplomatic recognition from the international community.’
      • ‘Speaking after several days of confusion, Vanuatu government spokesman Kalvau Moli said yesterday that formal recognition had been granted to Taipei.’
      • ‘Yet the Badinter commission refused to grant recognition to the Republic of Kosova.’
      • ‘Lee is perhaps the foremost symbol of Taiwan's aspirations to statehood and international recognition and his visit will be of huge importance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 particular, the regime demands formal U.S. and international recognition of the permanence of the borders under its control.’
      • ‘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 US recognised Beijing as the legitimate government of the whole of China and ended its formal recognition of Taiwan.’
      • ‘So when claims for independence are made it will in the future be much harder for aspirant nationalisms to demand international recognition.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In 1957 Nkrumah renamed the new country Ghana and obtained recognition from the United Nations as an independent member of the British Commonwealth.’
      • ‘Chen's speech also made clear his administration will step up the efforts to win international diplomatic recognition for the Republic of China.’
      • ‘Under the internationally accepted ‘One China’ policy, Taiwan is formally considered a province of China and excluded from the United Nations and diplomatic recognition.’
      • ‘The Greek government's sustained veto over recognition of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia infuriated its partners.’


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