Meaning of recognizance

recognizance




The noun recognizance, which means an agreement you make with a court of law to show up when you’re told to, is seen most often in the phrase “released on his own recognizance.”

Of four look-alikes in English — recognizance plus recognition, reconnaissance, and reconnoiterrecognizance has perhaps the narrowest meaning: an obligation requiring you to do something (usually, appear in court). The word has been kicking around for a while: the OED finds a form of it in Chaucer, and its root is the Old French reconnaistre, or recognize.

Definitions of recognizance
  1. noun

    (law) a security entered into before a court with a condition to perform some act required by law; on failure to perform that act a sum is forfeited

    synonyms:

    recognisance

    see moresee less

    types:

    bail, bail bond, bond

    (criminal law) money that must be forfeited by the bondsman if an accused person fails to appear in court for trial
    type of:

    security, surety

    property that your creditor can claim in case you default on your obligation

Word Family

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