Definition of recognize verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    recognize

     verb
    (British English also -ise)verb
    BrE BrE//ˈrekəɡnaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrekəɡnaɪz//
     
    (not used in the progressive tenses)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they recognize
    BrE BrE//ˈrekəɡnaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrekəɡnaɪz//
     
    he / she / it recognizes
    BrE BrE//ˈrekəɡnaɪzɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrekəɡnaɪzɪz//
     
    past simple recognized
    BrE BrE//ˈrekəɡnaɪzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrekəɡnaɪzd//
     
    past participle recognized
    BrE BrE//ˈrekəɡnaɪzd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrekəɡnaɪzd//
     
    past simple recognizing
    BrE BrE//ˈrekəɡnaɪzɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrekəɡnaɪzɪŋ//
     
    past participle recognizing
    BrE BrE//ˈrekəɡnaɪzɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈrekəɡnaɪzɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  to know who somebody is or what something is when you see or hear them or it, because you have seen or heard them or it before recognize somebody/something I recognized him as soon as he came in the room. Do you recognize this tune? recognize somebody/something by/from something I recognized her by her red hair. Synonymsidentifyknow recognize name make somebody/​something outThese words all mean to be able to see or hear somebody/​something and especially to be able to say who or what they are.identify to be able to say who or what somebody/​something is:She was able to identify her attacker.know to be able to say who or what something is when you see or hear it because you have seen or heard it before Know is used especially to talk about sounds that seem familiar and when somebody recognizes the quality or opportunity that somebody/​something represents:I couldn’t see who was speaking, but I knew the voice. She knows a bargain when she sees one.recognize to know who somebody is or what something is when you see or hear them/​it, because you have seen or heard them/​it before:I recognized him as soon as he came in the room.name to say the name of somebody/​something in order to show that you know who/​what they are:The victim has not yet been named.make somebody/​something out to manage to see or hear somebody/​something that is not very clear:I could just make out a figure in the darkness.Patterns to identify/​know/​recognize somebody/​something by something to identify/​recognize/​name somebody/​something as somebody/​something to identify/​know/​recognize/​make out who/​what/​how… to easily/​barely/​just identify/​recognize/​make out somebody/​something
  2. 2  to admit or to be aware that something exists or is true synonym acknowledge recognize something They recognized the need to take the problem seriously. recognize something as something Drugs were not recognized as a problem then. recognize how, what, etc… Nobody recognized how urgent the situation was. recognize that… We recognized that the task was not straightforward. it is recognized that… It was recognized that this solution could only be temporary. recognize somebody/something to be/have something Drugs were not recognized to be a problem then. Synonymsadmitacknowledge recognize concede confessThese words all mean to agree, often unwillingly, that something is true.admit to agree, often unwillingly, that something is true:It was a stupid thing to do, I admit.acknowledge (rather formal) to accept that something exists, is true or has happened:She refuses to acknowledge the need for reform.recognize to admit or be aware that something exists or is true:They recognized the need to take the problem seriously.concede (rather formal) to admit, often unwillingly, that something is true or logical:He was forced to concede (that) there might be difficulties.admit or concede?When somebody admits something, they are usually agreeing that something which is generally considered bad or wrong is true or has happened, especially when it relates to their own actions. When somebody concedes something, they are usually accepting, unwillingly, that a particular fact or statement is true or logical.confess (rather formal) to admit something that you feel ashamed or embarrassed about:She was reluctant to confess her ignorance.Patterns to admit/​acknowledge/​recognize/​concede/​confess that… to admit/​confess to something to admit/​concede/​confess something to somebody to admit/​acknowledge/​recognize the truth to admit/​confess your mistakes/​ignorance
  3. 3  to accept and approve of somebody/something officially recognize somebody/something (as something) recognized qualifications The UK has refused to recognize the new regime. be recognized to be/have something He is recognized to be their natural leader.
  4. 4  be recognized (as something) to be thought of as very good or important by people in general The book is now recognized as a classic. She's a recognized authority on the subject.
  5. 5recognize somebody/something to give somebody official thanks for something that they have done or achieved His services to the state were recognized with the award of a knighthood.
  6. Word Origin 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’.Extra examples All rivers should be officially recognized as public rights of way. Criminal law implicitly recognizes a difference between animals and property. Do any US states currently recognize gay marriage? He readily recognizes the influence of Freud on his thinking. He recognized the man as one of the police officers. I immediately recognized the building. I recognized them from a television show. I vaguely recognized his voice, but couldn’t think of his name. It’s important to recognize that obesity isn’t necessarily caused by overeating. She recognized the song correctly. Stella hardly recognized her brother. The 1970s are rightly recognized as a golden era of Hollywood film-making. The Medway estuary is recognized internationally as a conservation area. The company had been slow to recognize the opportunities available to it. The company should publicly recognize its mistake. The court explicitly recognized the group’s right to exist. The estuary is recognized internationally as an important area for wildlife. The government has belatedly recognized the danger to health of passive smoking. The law clearly recognizes that a company is separate from those who invest in it. The strength of this argument is being increasingly recognized. They fully recognize the need to proceed carefully. This is the only species of flamingo in the region, easily recognized by its pink plumage. This issue must be recognized as a priority for the next administration. You learn to recognize the calls of different birds. I recognized him by the way he walked. The qualifications are internationally recognized. We barely recognized her—she had changed so much in ten years.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: recognize