identity

noun
iden·​ti·​ty | \ ī-ˈden-tə-tē How to pronounce identity (audio) , 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

Police are still searching for the last two men, whose identities remain a mystery. Ian Shapira, Anchorage Daily News, "The parking garage beating lasted 10 seconds. DeAndre Harris still lives with the damage.," 17 Sep. 2019 Schrader said his identity is not being released while a criminal investigation unit looks more deeply into the details surrounding the incident. Sara Cardine, La Cañada Valley Sun, "Man suspected of impersonating officer, leading real authorities on brief ACH pursuit," 16 Sep. 2019 The self-sovereign identity Identity is not simply endowed at birth; it is endowed by birth. Don Tapscott, Quartz, "We’re living in an era of digital feudalism. Here’s how to take your data and identity back," 11 Sep. 2019 His identity was not immediately released pending notification of his next of kin. Robert Salonga, The Mercury News, "San Jose: Man dies after being found shot in grocery parking lot," 6 Sep. 2019 The identity and condition of the woman has not yet been released. Kirk Mitchell, The Denver Post, "Woman stabbed in downtown Denver early Thursday morning," 5 Sep. 2019 Toby, who initially appears to be a man of effortless confidence, has in fact strenuously constructed that identity. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, "How Matthew Lopez Transformed “Howards End” Into an Epic Play About Gay Life," 2 Sep. 2019 The police said the Brownsville gunman, whose identity was not immediately released, was pronounced dead at Brookdale Hospital, and a semiautomatic handgun was recovered from the scene. Sharon Otterman, New York Times, "Masked Gunman Opens Fire on Police in Brooklyn Backyard," 2 Sep. 2019 Their identities have not been released and is not known if the men are connected to Craig’s death. Andrea Cavallier, NBC News, "New Mexico man Craig Cavanaugh missing since July found dead in Arizona," 29 Aug. 2019

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

14 Oct 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 How to pronounce identity (audio) \
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 How to pronounce identity (audio) \
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

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