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

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 Studying the long-term effects of chemical irritants is a complicated task, as researchers would have to identify and follow the people who are affected for years and years. Korin Miller, SELF, "This Is Exactly How Tear Gas Affects Your Body," 26 Nov. 2018 Now, though, some forward-thinking entrepreneurs are trying to bridge the divide, identifying and conserving many of the more unique—and uniquely endangered—aspects of Balinese culture. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "Finding the Bali You Came For," 16 Nov. 2018 Donations below $200 are not required to be individually identified and therefore can’t be included in this analysis. Rani Molla, Recode, "Silicon Valley’s Democrats aren’t galvanized by Trump any more than Republicans are — if you look at their donation history," 5 Nov. 2018 Gleicher said that Facebook is using a combination of machine learning and human investigators to more rapidly identify and clamp down on inauthentic behavior. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Facebook yanks content tied to Iranian effort due to “inauthentic behavior”," 26 Oct. 2018 Ella Kay, a royal jewelry blogger, first identified the piece on Twitter, and also pointed out that Kate was wearing it with Princess Diana's Collingwood Pearl Drop Earrings. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton Is Wearing One of the Queen Mother's Favorite Necklaces to the Dutch State Dinner Tonight," 23 Oct. 2018 It can also be used to identify people and people and make predictions about their behavior, a type of AI known as facial recognition. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Facial recognition is becoming one of the 21st century’s biggest public space issues," 19 Oct. 2018 Unlike other wireless chargers, the Pixel Stand is smart and can identify and recognize your specific Pixel 3 phone through an invisible handshake encoded in the very rhythm of the wireless charging patterns. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Google's 'Pixel Stand' Might Finally Make You Buy a Wireless Charger," 9 Oct. 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

8 Dec 2018

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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