identify

verb
iden·​ti·​fy | \ ī-ˈden-tə-ˌfī, 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 , ə-​ \ adjective
identifiably \ ī-​ˌden-​tə-​ˈfī-​ə-​blē , 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 boy, identified by Guatemalan authorities as Felipe Gómez Alonzo, had been in CBP’s custody with his father, Agustin Gomez, since Dec. 18. Nomaan Merchant, The Seattle Times, "Medical checks ordered after 2nd child immigrant dies," 26 Dec. 2018 The goal here is to identify the places where mortar is sufficiently damaged and/or missing, and mix new mortar to replace it. Kevin Dupzyk, Popular Mechanics, "So You Want To Fix Your Chimney," 21 Dec. 2018 Don't worry though, because the defunct products can be easily identified. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "These Tampons Were Recalled After Unraveling While Inside People’s Bodies," 13 Dec. 2018 As identified by @hrhcambridgeands on Instagram, Meghan accessorized her look with Manolo Blahnik pumps and crawler earrings by Zofia Day (as noted by @LauraAshworth on Twitter). Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Turns a Stella McCartney Coat into a Chic Maternity Look," 10 Nov. 2018 Manufacturers have to patch flaws identified by Google within a specific timeframe. Jacob Kastrenakes, The Verge, "Google mandates two years of security updates for popular phones in new Android contract," 24 Oct. 2018 The man, identified by Turkish officials as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, has been photographed in the background of Prince Mohammed's trips to the U.S., France and Spain this year. Suzan Fraser, Fox News, "Man linked to Saudi prince at consulate when writer vanished," 18 Oct. 2018 Is your family aware of your sexuality, or choice not to self-identify? Noor Brara, Vogue, "The Wedding Director Sam Abbas on What It’s Like to Screen an LGBTQ Film in the Middle East," 7 Nov. 2018 Following an investigation, Russia claims to have identified and fixed the problem that led to the failure, deeming the rocket ready to carry people again. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Three astronauts will launch to space on Monday — two months after botched flight," 2 Dec. 2018

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

6 Jan 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 \
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- \
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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