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

One of the victims identified Walker after police apprehended him shortly after the attacks, prosecutors say. Zaz Hollander, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage man charged with attempted murder in stabbing of 74-year-old woman," 19 July 2019 The fire was extinguished by about 12:30 p.m. One man, who officials have not identified, was transported to Johns Hopkins Bayview with serious burn injuries. Cody Boteler, baltimoresun.com, "Lansdowne home explosion caused by bathtub finishing work," 18 July 2019 If trauma can trigger such epigenetic changes in people, the alterations could serve as biomarkers to identify individuals at greater risk for mental illness or other health problems—and as targets for interventions that might reverse that legacy. Andrew Curry, Science | AAAS, "Parents’ emotional trauma may change their children’s biology. Studies in mice show how," 18 July 2019 The retreat has taken place over the last two years at the Department of Homeland Security, which has primary domestic responsibility for helping authorities identify and block potential chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats. Los Angeles Times, "Times Investigation: Trump administration has gutted programs aimed at detecting weapons of mass destruction," 18 July 2019 The scandal started after a pair of online collectors began identifying and documenting cards that were allegedly improperly modified. Jacob Bogage, courant.com, "Baseball card collectors suspected rampant fraud in their hobby. Now the FBI is investigating.," 18 July 2019 Mina had touted the technology’s potential use in helping identify and track people with a warrant in real-time. Tess Sheets, orlandosentinel.com, "Orlando says it won’t continue testing Amazon’s controversial face-scanning technology Rekognition," 18 July 2019 Burke said police and judges violated state and federal laws, including Carmody’s right to due process and California’s shield law, which protects journalists from being compelled to identify sources. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "Jeff Adachi case: Judge quashes SFPD search warrant used to raid journalist," 18 July 2019 Newport Beach police were able to identify Handley as a suspect because a neighbor wrote down his truck’s license plate number the day before the kidnapping. Daily Pilot, "Trial begins for man accused of kidnapping and torturing Newport Beach dispensary owner," 18 July 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

21 Jul 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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