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·cogni·to′ry (rĭ-kŏgnĭ-tôr′ē), re·cogni·tive (-tĭv) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.