FindLaw Legal Dictionary
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1 : to acknowledge formally: as
a : to admit as being of a particular status [ a precedent] [ a union]
: to acknowledge (as a right, cause of action, or defense) as valid
b : to admit as being one entitled to be heard
: give the floor to
c : to acknowledge the de facto existence or the independence of [refused to the new government]
2 : to account for as real, received, or incurred and treat and record appropriately
: to account for (a gain, loss, expense, or income) on current accounting or tax records [recognized the gain when she included it as income on her tax return] compare realize
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.