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

To be effective bystanders, Warnick trains people pay attention to cues, identify harassment, and develop methods of intervention. Greta Moran, Teen Vogue, "The Culture of Sexual Harassment at Music Festivals Like Coachella Could Be Changing," 3 May 2019 ChemSIGMA, however, will identify and locate scent-evidence of chemical ingredients, called precursors, which must be combined to make chemical weapons or explosives. Dan Dubno, Popular Mechanics, "How We'll Stop Chemical Attacks," 28 Apr. 2019 Here's what every pet owner needs to know about identifying and removing ticks, plus how to recognize tickborne illnesses like Lyme disease. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "What to Do If Your Dog Has a Tick Bite," 19 Apr. 2019 Bonus points for giving little boys and little girls equal stakes to root for and identify with. Sam Machkovech And Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Films for the discerning nerd: Ars picks the best of 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 This deceleration means identifying and capitalizing on new opportunities—such as emerging markets, replacing older buildings, adaptive reuse, and new office space—will be much harder. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "The 10 top emerging trends that will shape real estate in 2019," 10 Oct. 2018 Blue, which adorned the ancient Irish flag, was first identified with St. Patrick's Day. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "Here's the Real History of St Patrick's Day," 15 Mar. 2019 The specific bacteria these researchers located carries an antibiotic resistance gene called blaNDM-1, which was first identified in busy urban hospitals in India a decade ago. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Found 'Superbugs' in Remote Arctic Wilderness," 29 Jan. 2019 While he has been identified, Arroyo is not yet in police custody. Taylor Mead, House Beautiful, "The Man Caught Licking Someone's Doorbell For 3 Hours Has Been Identified," 9 Jan. 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

12 May 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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