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
The Florence Eiseman label came to define a very American brand of status and identity (and still does; just ask Suri Cruise).
The Rockets have such a strong, clear identity that introducing Paul into the equation could (no pun) be beside the point.
Wiggins impresses while juggling the roles of loyal son and lovestruck teen, visibly struggling with Wes' quest for independence and self-identity.
Passengers will be able to check luggage without an employee verifying their identity.
At select airports in the U.S., a permanent program known as Clear lets travelers jump to the head of security queues, using fingerprints and iris scans to confirm a passenger’s identity.
If there is a dispute as to the identity of an online entrant, the prize will be awarded to the authorized account holder of the email address.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is hoping to know the identity of a new Miami Marlins owner within about a month.
The Facebook Marketplace, meanwhile, offers a simple and fast way of selling your old gadgets that's tied to your Facebook identity, for better or for worse.
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
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