Definition of identity
1a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instancesb : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness
3 : the condition of being the same with something described or asserted establish the identity of stolen goods
4 : an equation that is satisfied for all values of the symbols
5 : identity element
Examples of identity in a Sentence
The identity of the criminal is not known.
They produced their passports as proof of their identities.
They arrested the wrong man. It was a case of mistaken identity.
As children grow, they establish their own identities.
people who seem to lack individual identity
His art reflects his cultural identity.
Recent Examples of identity from the Web
For India, enmity with Pakistan has fostered a tilt away from secular values towards a more strident identity politics.
Anyone with information about the identity of the men is asked to contact Shawnee police at 913-742-6821 or 913-742-6794.
Ruby Corp, Ashley Madison's parent company, has settled with the class action claimants whose identities were leaked during the site's 2015 hack.
Jusstin A. Johnson, of Glen Ellyn, was indicted on 29 felony and misdemeanor counts of identity theft, theft and burglary from incidents that occurred in January, records said.
The Florence Eiseman label came to define a very American brand of status and identity (and still does; just ask Suri Cruise).
The victim, whose identity hasn't been released, came out and asked him to leave.
The Rockets have such a strong, clear identity that introducing Paul into the equation could (no pun) be beside the point.
To encourage residents to come forward with crime information, the department held a public demonstration Tuesday to explain how tips are submitted while maintaining a person's identity and security.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'identity'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of identity
Middle French identité, from Late Latin identitat-, identitas, probably from Latin identidem repeatedly, contraction of idem et idem, literally, same and same
First Known Use: 1545See Words from the same year
IDENTITY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of identity for English Language Learners
: who someone is : the name of a person
: the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others
IDENTITY Defined for Kids
Definition of identity for Students
1 : the set of qualities and beliefs that make one person or group different from others : individuality Children establish their own identities.
2 : the fact of being the same person or thing as claimed Can you prove your identity?
3 : the fact or condition of being exactly alike : sameness He proved the identity of the two books' authorship.
Legal Definition of identity
1 : sameness of essential character or aspect collateral estoppel requires identity of the issues and the parties
2a : separate or distinct existence when movables lose their identity or become an integral part of the immovable — Louisiana Civil Code b : distinguishing character of a person; especially : information (as a name or address) that distinguishes a person is required to reveal the identity of an informer but for a mistake concerning the proper party's identity — Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 15(c)
3 : the condition of being the same as a thing or person described, claimed, or accused character evidence of a suspect's past crimes may be admitted to prove the identity of a crime's perpetrator
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up identity? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).