Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Idioms, Encyclopedia.


1. The act of recognizing or condition of being recognized.
2. An awareness that something perceived has been perceived before.
3. An acceptance as true or valid, as of a claim: a recognition of their civil rights.
4. Attention or favorable notice: She received recognition for her many achievements.
5. Official acceptance of the national status of a new government by another nation.
6. Biology The ability of one molecule to attach itself to another molecule having a complementary shape, as in enzyme-substrate and antibody-antigen interactions.

[Middle English recognicion, knowledge of an event, from Old French recognition, from Latin recognitiō, recognitiōn-, act of recognizing, from recognitus, past participle of recognōscere, to recognize; see recognize.]

re·cog′ni·to′ry (rĭ-kŏg′nĭ-tôr′ē), re·cog′ni·tive (-tĭv) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In an anonymous paper entitled "Our Relation to the Episcopacy," written by a Malaysia missionary in 1902, the author opined, "We desire to dissolve the partnership that has so long been carried on under the name of 'India and Malaysia,' or more recently under the less definite and still less recognitory term, Southern Asia.
McCune-Nicolich viewed presymbolic schemes as similar to what Piagetians referred to as recognitory gestures or recognitory assimilation (cf.