Recognizance meaning

rĭ-kŏgnĭ-zəns, -kŏnĭ-
An obligation, entered into before a judge or magistrate, to perform a particular action, such as appearing in court, without the posting of a bond.

Released on his own recognizance.

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A sum of money pledged to assure the performance of such an action.
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(obs.) A symbol, token, or badge.
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A bond made to a court, and recorded, of an obligation to do something, which if the person so bound fails to do will require the payment of a preset sum of money. Most often, a recognizance is in the form of a bail bond that guarantees an unimprisoned criminal defendant’s appearance for trial. See also bail, bond, and release on own recognizance.
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(law) A form of bail; a promise made by the accused to the court that he/she 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.

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Origin of recognizance

  • Middle English recognisanze from Old French recognuissance alteration (influenced by Medieval Latin recognizāre to recognize) of reconoissance from reconoistre reconoiss- to recognize recognize

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • recognize +"Ž -ance

    From Wiktionary