identify

verb
iden·​ti·​fy | \ ī-ˈden-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce identify (audio) , ə-\
identified; identifying

Definition of identify

transitive verb

1a : to establish the identity of
b : to determine the taxonomic position of (a biological specimen)
2a : to conceive as united (as in spirit, outlook, or principle) groups that are identified with conservation
b : to cause to be or become identical

intransitive verb

1 : to practice psychological identification identify with the hero of a novel
2 : to be or become the same

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Other Words from identify

identifiable \ ī-​ˌden-​tə-​ˈfī-​ə-​bəl How to pronounce identifiable (audio) , ə-​ \ adjective
identifiably \ ī-​ˌden-​tə-​ˈfī-​ə-​blē How to pronounce identifiably (audio) , ə-​ \ adverb

Examples of identify in a Sentence

She identified the dog as her lost pet. He was able to correctly identify the mushroom. The witness positively identified the suspect in the crime. The corpse was identified on the basis of dental records. They could not identify the source of the quotation. They had no difficulty in identifying the problem. We began by identifying what we needed for the job. We need to identify the causes of unemployment.
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Recent Examples on the Web

While the idea of girls asking guys is incredibly heteronormative, the whole concept that there are only people who identify as either girls or boys is entirely false and harmful. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "What Even is a Sadie Hawkins Dance and Where Did It Come From?," 14 Feb. 2019 Then, the Photo Sleuth cross-references the photos with its own database: 15,000 identified Civil War soldier portraits from the public domain, relying on entities such as the U.S. Military History Institute. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "AI Could Help You Identify Civil War Vets in Your Family Tree," 4 Mar. 2019 Many trackers, like those meant to tally sleep patterns, often help identify a problem but do little to fix it. Haley Velasco, WSJ, "Can This Tiny Device Fix Your Posture?," 22 Feb. 2019 Millennials and Gen-Zs are identifying as LGBTQ at higher percentages than any previous generation. Samantha Allen, Seventeen, "LGBTQ Teens Don't Need To Leave Red States For College," 19 Feb. 2019 Huffington Post more closely identifies the era as around 1910. Megan Stein, Country Living, "Everything to Know About 'When Calls the Heart' Season 6," 17 Feb. 2019 The social media website has been developing artificial intelligence to help identify such content, however, the technology is reportedly not yet sophisticated enough to replace human labor. Gerren Keith Gaynor, Fox News, "Ex-Facebook content moderator claims disturbing images gave her PTSD; sues," 25 Sep. 2018 For example, although over 21 percent of Mexicans identify as indigenous as of 2015, 2019 marks the first year an indigenous woman has ever been on the cover of Vogue Mexico. Yolanda Machado, Harper's BAZAAR, "Yalitza Aparicio on Roma's Significance: "This Film Is An Opportunity to Make People Reflect"," 24 Feb. 2019 Gevers posted a graph online showing that 54.9 percent of the individuals in the database were identified as Han Chinese, the country’s ethnic majority, while 28.3 percent were Uighur and 8.3 percent were Kazakh, both Muslim ethnic minority groups. Dake Kang, The Seattle Times, "Exposed Chinese database shows depth of surveillance state," 20 Feb. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'identify.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of identify

1626, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2b

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Statistics for identify

Last Updated

31 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for identify

The first known use of identify was in 1626

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More Definitions for identify

identify

verb

English Language Learners Definition of identify

: to know and say who someone is or what something is
: to find out who someone is or what something is
: to show who someone is or what something is

identify

verb
iden·​ti·​fy | \ ī-ˈden-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce identify (audio) \
identified; identifying

Kids Definition of identify

1 : to find out or show the identity of … they ate … a mystery casserole that I could not identify.— Sharon Creech, Walk Two Moons
2 : to feel empathy for I identified with her problem.
3 : to think of as joined or associated with These groups are identified with conservation.

identify

verb
iden·​ti·​fy | \ ī-ˈdent-ə-ˌfī, ə- How to pronounce identify (audio) \
identified; identifying

Medical Definition of identify

transitive verb

: to determine the taxonomic position of (a biological specimen)

intransitive verb

: to undergo or experience psychological identification identify with the hero of a novel

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identify

transitive verb
iden·​ti·​fy
identified; identifying

Legal Definition of identify

1 : to consider as united or associated (as in interests or principles) can ask leading questions of a witness who is identified with an adverse party
2 : to establish the identity of identifying the suspect
3 : to specify or designate (goods) as the object of a contract used in the phrase identify to the contract the disputed beans were goods identified to the contract

Note: Under the Uniform Commercial Code, once goods are identified to a contract, the buyer has a special property interest and an insurable interest in the goods. This gives the buyer the right to seek damages and other relief. This identification can be done at any time and in any manner agreed to by the parties or as otherwise specified in the U.C.C.

Other Words from identify

identifiable adjective
identification noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on identify

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for identify

Spanish Central: Translation of identify

Nglish: Translation of identify for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of identify for Arabic Speakers

Comments on identify

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