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[+ object]

1 not used in progressive tenses : to know and remember (someone or something) because of previous knowledge or experience

I didn't recognize you at first with your new haircut.

I can always recognize him from far away by/from the way he walks.

They recognized the odor at once.

2 : to accept or be aware that (something) is true or exists

It's important to recognize [=be aware of] your own faults.

They started talking and quickly recognized [=realized] how much they had in common.

3 : to accept and approve of (something) as having legal or official authority

The U.S. government has now recognized the newly formed country.

They refused to recognize the treaty.

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