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

Gillibrand’s campaign said in an email that 65% of its online donors identified as women. Washington Post, "Kamala Harris Raises Nearly $12 Million in 2Q: Campaign Update," 18 Sep. 2019 In March Sam opened up about identifying as nonbinary. Gabe Bergado, Teen Vogue, "Sam Smith Shares Their Pronouns Are They/Them After "Lifetime of Being at War" With Their Gender," 13 Sep. 2019 The video featured a ton of celebrity cameos from artists who identify as LGBTQ. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "10 Facts About Hayley Kiyoko That Will Make You Crazy About Her," 13 Sep. 2019 Reuters/Jason Lee In January 1964, then-US surgeon general Luther Terry released the first report identifying cigarettes as a cause of lung cancer. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Can a vaping health crisis be avoided?," 13 Sep. 2019 Four in 10 freshmen at the school identify as Asian American (another four in 10 as white); 16 percent of its students overall will be the first in their families to get a four-year degree. Alia Wong, The Atlantic, "The Most Popular Names of This Year’s College Freshmen," 12 Sep. 2019 The experiment was the first in a long series of studies that identified osteocalcin as a hormone involved in metabolism, fertility and muscle function. Diana Kwon, Scientific American, "Fight or Flight May Be In Our Bones," 12 Sep. 2019 Two ancient skeletons that have become a symbol of imperishable love have both been identified as men. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "Two ancient "lovers" who were buried holding hands identified as men," 12 Sep. 2019 Reporters then bought brands that law enforcement testing or online discussions identified as spiked. Washington Post, "Some CBD vapes contain street drug instead of the real thing," 18 Sep. 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

13 Oct 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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