Recognizance Definition

rĭ-kŏgnĭ-zəns, -kŏnĭ-
An obligation of record entered into before a court or magistrate, binding a person to do or not do something, be in court at a certain time, etc.
Webster's New World
A sum of money pledged and subject to forfeit if this obligation is not fulfilled.
Webster's New World
Webster's New World
A symbol, token, or badge.
Webster's New World

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.

Webster's New World Law
  • recognisance

Other Word Forms of Recognizance



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

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