AskDefine | Define recognition

Dictionary Definition



1 the state or quality of being recognized or acknowledged; "the partners were delighted with the recognition of their work"; "she seems to avoid much in the way of recognition or acknowledgement of feminist work prior to her own" [syn: acknowledgment, acknowledgement]
2 the process of recognizing something or someone by remembering; "a politician whose recall of names was as remarkable as his recognition of faces"; "experimental psychologists measure the elapsed time from the onset of the stimulus to its recognition by the observer" [syn: identification]
3 approval; "give her recognition for trying"; "he was given credit for his work"; "give her credit for trying"; "the credits were given at the end of the film" [syn: credit]
4 coming to understand something clearly and distinctly; "a growing realization of the risk involved"; "a sudden recognition of the problem he faced"; "increasing recognition that diabetes frequently coexists with other chronic diseases" [syn: realization, realisation]
5 (biology) the ability of one molecule to attach to another molecule that has a complementary shape; "molecular recognition drives all of biology, for instance, hormone and receptor or antibody-antigen interactions or the organization of molecules into larger biologically active entities"
6 the explicit and formal acknowledgement of a government or of the national independence of a country; "territorial disputes were resolved in Guatemala's recognition of Belize in 1991"
7 an acceptance (as of a claim) as true and valid; "the recognition of the Rio Grande as a boundary between Mexico and the United States"
8 designation by the chair granting a person the right to speak in a deliberative body; "he was unable to make his motion because he couldn't get recognition by the chairman"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ˌɹɛkəgˈnɪʃən/, /%rEk@g"nIS@n/


From recognitionem (accusative of recognitio), from stem recognit, past participle of recognoscere.


  1. the act of recognizing or the condition of being recognized
    He looked at her for ten full minutes before recognition dawned.
  2. An awareness that something observed has been observed before
  3. acceptance as valid or true
    The law was a recognition of their civil rights.
  4. Official acceptance of the status of a new government by that of another country
  5. honor, favorable note, or attention
    The charity gained plenty of recognition for its efforts, but little money.


the act of recognizing or the condition of being recognized
An awareness that something observed has been observed before
Acceptance as valid or true
Official acceptance of the status of a new government by that of another country
honor, favorable note, or attention

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Recognition (re+cognition) is a process that occurs in thinking when some event, process, pattern, or object recurrs. Thus in order for something to be recognized, it must be familiar. This recurrence allows the recognizer to more properly react, survival value.
When the recognizer has correctly responded, this is a measure of understanding. For example, when some animals have never seen a human being before, they do not hide and they show no fear; but when they learn that a human being may be a threat, they may emit distress cries, flee or hide.
Even non-mammals can recognize when a situation signals danger, and will flee or hide. Baby spiders will flee when a mother spider sends a sharp pulse along the spider web. A male spider will gently poke a female spider's web to assess whether it is without being killed himself.
In philosophy recognition became very important in Hegel's attempt at understanding the emergence of self-consciousness. Lack of recognition can also be attributed as alienation and it was this aspect of Hegel's work that Marx elaborated upon. The importance of recognition for Hegel is seen in his myth of the master-slave dialectic.

See also

External links

recognition in German: Erkennung
recognition in Lithuanian: Atpažinimas
recognition in Dutch: Herkenning
recognition in Simple English: Recognition
recognition in Serbian: Рекогниција

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acceptance, acclaim, acknowledgment, action, admission, allowance, anagnorisis, angle, apperception, appreciation, appreciativeness, architectonics, architecture, argument, assimilation, atmosphere, attention, avowal, awareness, background, benediction, blurb, boost, bringing to light, buildup, casual discovery, catastrophe, catching, celebrity, chance discovery, character, characterization, cognition, cognizance, color, commendation, complication, concession, confession, consciousness, continuity, contrivance, credit, crediting, declaration, denouement, design, detection, determination, determining, development, device, disclosure, discovery, distinguishment, due, eclat, episode, espial, excavation, exhumation, exposure, fable, falling action, fame, famousness, figure, find, finding, finding out, gimmick, glory, good word, grace, honor, honorable mention, hymn, hype, identification, incident, insight, invention, kudos, line, local color, locating, location, lucky strike, mindfulness, mood, motif, movement, mythos, name, noesis, note, notice, notoriety, notoriousness, paean, perception, peripeteia, plan, plot, plug, popularity, praise, prayer of thanks, profession, promotion, publicity, puff, realization, reclame, rediscovery, reidentification, renown, report, reputation, repute, revelation, right, rising action, scheme, secondary plot, sensibility, serendipity, slant, spotting, story, strike, structure, subject, subplot, switch, thank offering, thank-you, thanks, thanksgiving, the bubble reputation, thematic development, theme, tone, topic, treasure trove, trouvaille, trove, twist, uncovering, unearthing, vogue, what is owing
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