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!"

Primary Meanings of recognition

the process of recognizing something or someone by remembering
(biology) the ability of one molecule to attach to another molecule that has a complementary shape
Full Definitions of recognition

n 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”
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

n the state or quality of being recognized or acknowledged

“the partners were delighted with the recognition of their work”
acknowledgement, acknowledgment
Type of:
the state of being acceptable and accepted

n approval

“give her recognition for trying”
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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

n 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”
Type of:
acceptance, credence
the mental attitude that something is believable and should be accepted as true

n 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”
Type of:
diplomacy, diplomatic negotiations
negotiation between nations

n 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”
Type of:
appointment, assignment, designation, naming
the act of putting a person into a non-elective position

n 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”
realisation, realization
Type of:
apprehension, discernment, savvy, understanding
the cognitive condition of someone who understands

n (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”
Type of:
organic phenomenon
(biology) a natural phenomenon involving living plants and animals

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