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 Prattville authorities are asking for the public’s help in identifying a suspect wanted as part of an arson investigation. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Suspects wanted in Prattville arson investigation," 17 Sep. 2019 Boyajian has been researching and authoring papers about the star since citizen scientists participating in the Planet Hunters project identified its odd behavior to her science team in 2015. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "This mysterious star could be consuming a stolen exomoon," 17 Sep. 2019 That is many more than the study identified, that is about 10% of our total population in Howard County. baltimoresun.com, "Letters: Busing isn’t the answer to Howard schools’ disparity problem; and more from readers," 17 Sep. 2019 Last week, police asked for the public’s help in identifying a suspect and vehicle wanted in connection with the killing. Michael Cabanatuan, SFChronicle.com, "The Scanner: Oakland police seek help in beloved street food vendor’s killing," 16 Sep. 2019 But as Davis says, sellers who identify and resolve repair issues early often avoid expensive and time-consuming complications later. Ellen James Martin | Andrews Mcmeel Syndication, courant.com, "Smart Moves: Redos and redon’ts if you’re planning to sell," 16 Sep. 2019 Other projects listed to be looked at in the next couple of years include identifying financing solutions to deal with growing infrastructure needs in the Old Town area and developing wayfinding signage and replacing and enhancing street signage. Paul Wedding, Houston Chronicle, "Tomball City Council approves comprehensive plan," 16 Sep. 2019 One California reform organization, Root & Rebound, has identified more than forty-eight thousand legal and regulatory impediments designed to punish and hinder those who have served time. Kenneth E. Hartman, Harper's magazine, "Life after Life," 16 Sep. 2019 Enjoy a research presentation from Whale Shark México, then spend a day on the water photographing and identifying whale sharks—the world’s largest fish. National Geographic, "Baja and the Sea of Cortez Expedition: Marine Conservation," 15 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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Time Traveler for identify

Time Traveler

The first known use of identify was in 1626

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Statistics for identify

Last Updated

27 Oct 2019

Cite this Entry

“Identify.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/identifies. Accessed 21 November 2019.

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More Definitions for identify

identify

verb
How to pronounce identify (audio)

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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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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Comments on identify

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