Recognition is when you remember something or someone you're familiar with — like the flash of recognition you experience at your high school reunion.

Recognition isn't just about remembering what something looks like — it's also used to describe when you remember that someone has done something special, and decide to recognize their efforts with an award or speech. This type of recognition is a form of acknowledgment, a way to say "we approve" or "good work!"

Definitions of recognition
  1. noun
    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”
    synonyms: identification
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    the individual characteristics by which a thing or person is recognized or known
    speaker identification, talker identification
    identification of a person from the sound of their voice
    type of:
    memory, remembering
    the cognitive processes whereby past experience is remembered
  2. noun
    the state or quality of being recognized or acknowledged
    “the partners were delighted with the recognition of their work”
    synonyms: acknowledgement, acknowledgment
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    type of:
    the state of being acceptable and accepted
  3. noun
    “give her recognition for trying”
    synonyms: credit
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    commemoration, memorial, remembrance
    a recognition of meritorious service
    ovation, standing ovation
    enthusiastic recognition (especially one accompanied by loud applause)
    salutation, salute
    an act of honor or courteous recognition
    a summary statement of commemoration for a dead person
    a collection of writings published in honor of a scholar
    type of:
    approval, commendation
    a message expressing a favorable opinion
  4. noun
    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”
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    type of:
    acceptance, credence
    the mental attitude that something is believable and should be accepted as true
  5. noun
    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”
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    type of:
    diplomacy, diplomatic negotiations
    negotiation between nations
  6. noun
    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”
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    type of:
    appointment, assignment, designation, naming
    the act of putting a person into a non-elective position
  7. noun
    coming to understand something clearly and distinctly
    “a sudden recognition of the problem he faced”
    “increasing recognition that diabetes frequently coexists with other chronic diseases”
    synonyms: realisation, realization
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    type of:
    apprehension, discernment, savvy, understanding
    the cognitive condition of someone who understands
  8. noun
    (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”
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    type of:
    organic phenomenon
    (biology) a natural phenomenon involving living plants and animals
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