From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishrecognizerec‧og‧nize (also recognise British English) /ˈrekəɡnaɪz, ˈrekən-/ ●●● S1 W1 verb [transitive] 1 RECOGNIZEto know who someone is or what something is, because you have seen, heard, experienced, or learned about them in the past I didn’t recognize you in your uniform. It was malaria, but Dr Lee hadn’t recognized the symptoms.RegisterIn everyday English, people often say that they know (that) it is someone or something rather than say they recognize them: I knew it was her by the hat she was wearing.2 SSOPGto officially accept that an organization, government, document etc has legal or official authority British medical qualifications are recognized in Canada.recognize something as something The World Health Organization has recognized alcoholism as a disease since 1951.3 ACCEPTto accept or admit that something is truerecognize (that) One must recognise that homesickness is natural.recognize what/how/who etc It is important to recognize how little we know about this disease.4 IMPORTANTif something is recognized by people, they realize that it is important or very good Alexander tried to get his work recognized by the medical profession.be recognized as something Lawrence’s novel was eventually recognized as a work of genius. a recognized authority on Roman pottery Grammar Recognize is usually passive in this meaning.5 THANKto officially and publicly thank someone for something they have done, by giving them a special honour He was recognized for having saved many lives. —recognizable /ˈrekəɡnaɪzəbəl, -kən- ˌrekəɡˈnaɪ-/ adjective His face was instantly recognizable. —recognizably adverbRecognize is not used in the progressive. You say: I recognize that woman. ✗Don’t say: I am recognizing that woman.THESAURUSrecognize to know who someone is or what something is, especially because you have seen or heard them beforeI hadn’t seen her for ten years, but I recognized her immediately.Do you recognize this song?identify to recognize someone or something and say who or what they areAs they came closer, I was able to identify two of the group.It’s delicious but I can’t quite identify the taste.distinguish to recognize and understand the difference between two or more things or peopleBy this age, kids can usually distinguish between right and wrong.It’s often difficult to distinguish identical twins from each other.make something/somebody out to be able to see or hear something or someone – used when it is very difficult to do thisIn the distance, I could just make out the outline of an island.He whispered something but I couldn’t make out what it was.discern /dɪˈsɜːn $ -ɜːrn/ formal to notice or understand something by looking carefully or thinking about it carefullyI thought I discerned a faint gleam of hope in his eyes.A number of differences can be discerned in the data for the three countries.know to recognize someone or something. Know is often used in everyday English instead of recognizeHow do you know that it is real gold? I know him from somewhere.I can’t remember his name, but I know his face.can tell to be able to recognize someone or somethingI could tell that it was him by his voice. Can you tell that it’s not real leather?It’s difficult to be able to tell them apart (=to recognize that they are different).→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusrecognize• Aaron was humming a tune I didn't recognize.• The campaign is aimed at helping doctors recognize abuse victims.• Public schools are not required to recognize any extracurricular student organizations.• Among these agents, salicylate therapy is the most commonly recognized cause of hypouricemia.• Carnegie heroes are recognized for trying to save lives while risking their own.• I recognized her from the movies, but she was much taller than I expected.• We hadn't seen each other in thirty years, but I recognized her right away.• The government recognized his bravery in the battle by awarding him the Military Cross.• British medical qualifications are recognized in many countries throughout the world.• I can't remember how the tune goes but I'll recognize it when I hear it.• Franklin is a recognized leader in her field.• That security guy never recognizes me. I always have to show him my ID.• The waiter recognized one of his customers as someone he went to school with.• It needs to be recognized that it is the surface of any street or pavement that provides its essential character.• It is time to recognize that San Francisco no longer is the center of the Bay Area.• They recognized that some of their objectives could be reached by administrative action without running the gauntlet of the legislative process.• The U.S. has not recognized the Cuban government since 1961.• There's no question that Feigl recognized the difficulty of the problem.• Papua New Guinea was the first country to recognize the new military regime in Fiji.• That intellectual heritage came from recognizing the power and truth of the body.• Her contribution to horticulture was recognized when a new rose was named after her.• I recognize you from somewhere -- don't you work at the bank?• Lisa! I'm sorry -- I didn't recognize you -- you've had your hair cut!recognize (that)• Behind her through the open door, Katherine saw a man she thought she recognized as the porter.• Mayne's prowess as an officer of rare quality was recognized by the almost unprecedented award of four DSOs.• They indicate to employers the skills of job applicants and provide workers with a widely recognized credential.• Consequently, those on the inside recognize each other as one of themselves.• Everyone recognized that I had more background and information in these matters.• Hudson recognized that she had to make a change in her lifestyle.• All governments recognize that the news media can substantially assist or damage their attempts to achieve their goals.• Each recognized the need for dialogue.• But in recognizing the role of one ancillary, we should not overlook others.be recognized as something• Such consultation was undertaken through a Great Council, from which evolved what was to be recognized as a parlement or Parliament.• One obvious answer is that its symptoms were too diverse to be recognized as a single disease.• By 1880 he was recognized as an international authority on alkali manufacture.• Certain signs are recognized as being associated with certain actions that follow the signs.• He was recognized as having a gift for languages.• But the form as a whole should be recognized as inimical to protestants, especially when pursued in the arena of politics.• Reading needs to be recognized as just one more part of your overall plan and pattern of tackling hearing loss.• Alvin Harper to be recognized as one of the best cornerbacks in the league.