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From Middle English reconisaunce, from Old French reconissance.


recognizance (countable and uncountable, plural recognizances)

  1. (law) a form of bail; a promise made by the accused to the court that they will attend all required judicial proceedings and will not engage in further illegal activity or other prohibited conduct as set by the court.
    The defendant was released on his own recognizance.
  2. A token; a symbol; a pledge.
    • 1603, Othello, by William Shakespeare
      That recognizance and pledge of love / Which I first gave her.
  3. Acknowledgment of a person or thing; avowal; profession; recognition.

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