Pronunciation: (rek'ug-nīz"),[key] —v.t.,-nized, -niz•ing. 1. to identify as something or someone previously seen, known, etc.: He had changed so much that one could scarcely recognize him. 2. to identify from knowledge of appearance or characteristics: I recognized him from the description. They recognized him as a fraud. 3. to perceive as existing or true; realize: to be the first to recognize a fact. 4. to acknowledge as the person entitled to speak at a particular time: The Speaker recognized the Congressman from Maine. 5. to acknowledge formally as entitled to treatment as a political unit: The United States promptly recognized Israel. 6. to acknowledge or accept formally a specified factual or legal situation: to recognize a successful revolutionary regime as the de facto government of the country. 7. to acknowledge or treat as valid: to recognize a claim. 8. to acknowledge acquaintance with, as by a greeting, handshake, etc.
9. to show appreciation of (achievement, service, merit, etc.), as by some reward, public honor, or the like.
10. Law.to acknowledge (an illegitimate child) as one's own.
11. Biochem.,Immunol.to bind with, cleave, or otherwise react to (another substance) as a result of fitting its molecular shape or a portion of its shape. Also,esp. Brit.,rec'og•nise".