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

The basic intent of the tree replacement requirement in the ordinance is to forestall what the county has identified as a dwindling countywide tree canopy. Nick Sortal, sun-sentinel.com, "Reasons behind tree rules | Opinion," 20 June 2019 His identity will not be released until his family are identified. Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "Police investigating death of motorcyclist found in road near downtown Anchorage as homicide," 20 June 2019 The person killed has not been identified and is believed to have been in the passenger vehicle, Hodges said. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "1 person dead after wrong-way car, Greyhound bus crash on I-65 in Kentucky," 20 June 2019 The officer found several pills later identified as Soma and hydrocodone inside a backpack, police said. Jennifer James, Houston Chronicle, "Riding mowers reported stolen from Friendswood barn," 20 June 2019 Gender identity is the gender with which someone identifies. Dan Brechlin, courant.com, "As Connecticut’s high school athletics transgender policy comes under scrutiny, here’s what you need to know," 20 June 2019 This news organization did not request any identifying student information. Cat Ferguson, The Mercury News, "California’s vaccine battle: Here are the doctors behind Bay Area students’ medical exemptions," 20 June 2019 Even if the two had some sort of attraction to other men, they wouldn’t have identified as gay because that notion of living as an out gay man didn’t exist, both historians say. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "Pete Buttigieg Says There Have Probably Been Gay Presidents. Here's Why That Theory Is Complicated," 19 June 2019 The suspect, who the Orange County Sheriff’s Office identified as Jataveon Dashawn Hall, initially fled the scene and sought medical attention, but has since been taken into custody. Joelle Goldstein, PEOPLE.com, "Boy, 11, Stops Home Intruder with Machete: 'I Just Grabbed a Weapon in the House and Acted with It'," 19 June 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

23 Jun 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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