identity

noun
iden·​ti·​ty | \ ī-ˈden-tə-tē, ə-, -ˈde-nə-\
plural identities

Definition of identity

1a : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual : individuality
b : the relation established by psychological identification
2 : the condition of being the same with something described or asserted establish the identity of stolen goods
3a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instances
b : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness
4 : an equation that is satisfied for all values of the symbols

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

According to the outlet, the couple's last surrogate, whose identity remains private, became pregnant with her own child. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kim Kardashian Is Reportedly Using a Different Surrogate for Her Fourth Child," 4 Jan. 2019 In 2014, reports of his identity being misused started to surface on tip reports of anti-scam websites like Scamlot.com. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "Online Scammers Won't Stop Impersonating This Four-Star Army General," 14 Aug. 2018 Blomkamp’s tech-heavy films, featuring all manner of exo-suits, robots, political conflicts, and bloody splatter effects owe much of their identity to the 1987 film. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, "Why 'Robocop' and Neill Blomkamp Need Each Other," 11 July 2018 Fetal alcohol syndrome, prevalent in many indigenous communities, is as much a part of his identity as his Cheyenne blood. Joan Gaylord, The Christian Science Monitor, "'There There' weaves a powerful tale of contemporary urban Native Americans," 2 July 2018 Her jokes often riffed on that identity, skewering her mother's disappointment over her lack of a husband not unlike Midge does. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel," 16 Dec. 2018 That was under Moreno’s predecessor, Rafael Correa, whose political identity was based partly on his antagonism toward the United States. Kenneth P. Vogel, The Seattle Times, "Manafort tried to broker deal with Ecuador to hand Assange over to U.S.," 3 Dec. 2018 Adding a multiplayer component to a single-player series isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but Fallout 76 too often gets stuck between two identities: the solo RPG and the MMO. Sarah Leboeuf, Ars Technica, "Two weeks in, Fallout 76 is a lonely, glitchy, flawed mess," 28 Nov. 2018 Toby has severe depression; Kevin's now dating Beth's cousin, Zoe; and far into the future, Adult Tess and Old Man Randall are dreading visiting a woman whose identity isn't known right now. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "'This Is Us' Season 3: What We Know So Far," 14 Aug. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of identity

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for identity

Middle French identité, from Late Latin identitat-, identitas, probably from Latin identidem repeatedly, contraction of idem et idem, literally, same and same

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Statistics for identity

Last Updated

21 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for identity

The first known use of identity was in 1545

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More Definitions for identity

identity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of identity

: who someone is : the name of a person

: the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others

identity

noun
iden·​ti·​ty | \ ī-ˈden-tə-tē \
plural identities

Kids Definition of identity

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.

identity

noun
iden·​ti·​ty | \ ī-ˈden(t)-ət-ē, ə-ˈ \
plural identities

Medical Definition of identity

1 : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual
2 : the relation established by psychological identification

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identity

noun
iden·​ti·​ty
plural identities

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 immovableLouisiana 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on identity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with identity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for identity

Spanish Central: Translation of identity

Nglish: Translation of identity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of identity for Arabic Speakers

Comments on identity

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