identity crisis


Definition of identity crisis

1 : personal psychosocial conflict especially in adolescence that involves confusion about one's social role and often a sense of loss of continuity to one's personality
2 : a state of confusion in an institution or organization regarding its nature or direction

Examples of identity crisis in a Sentence

He is suffering from an identity crisis.

Recent Examples on the Web

Reddit user u/Waitingforadragon thinks that Jon's cold shoulder is an outward reflection of his inward identity crisis. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Why Didn't Jon Snow Say Goodbye to Ghost the Direwolf on 'Game of Thrones'?," 8 May 2019 The moves precipitated a Fashion Week identity crisis that this city is just now re-emerging from, partly because Proenza’s Lazaro Hernandez and Jack McCollough are back on the schedule with an intimate show at 30 Wall Street this afternoon. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "Proenza Schouler Is Back at New York Fashion Week, With “Real” Clothes That “Might Be a Little Polarizing”," 10 Sep. 2018 As trade schools’ bottom-line ethic is being applauded, many four-year institutions are, perhaps not coincidentally, struggling with an economic and identity crisis. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The State of American Trade Schools," 13 Mar. 2019 This is not so much an identity crisis as an exploration of purpose: What, in 2018, is the grocery store for? Rachel Sugar, Vox, "With a superbarket, shopping isn’t a chore; it’s an experience.," 30 Nov. 2018 There were some eye-opening comments after the loss to Tottenham, highlighting the identity crisis that might be enveloping United. Steve Douglas, The Seattle Times, "Worrying signs for Man United as Mourinho loses cool," 28 Aug. 2018 All concern staidly settled characters who suffer identity crises and worse upon leaving their socio-economic comfort zones. New York Times, "The Late, Late Show With Martin Scorsese," 9 May 2018 Thematically, Susie’s identity crisis parallels with Sabrina’s oscillation between witch and mortal. Danielle Corcione, Teen Vogue, ""Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Star Lachlan Watson on Non-Binary Identity and Telling a Bit of Their Own Story Through Susie Putnam," 29 Oct. 2018 Denver has had something of an identity crisis for some time now. Todd Plummer, Vogue, "Denver’s Coolest Bars, Restaurants, and Shops Are All in This One Neighborhood," 6 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'identity crisis.' 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 crisis

1941, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for identity crisis

Last Updated

29 May 2019

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Time Traveler for identity crisis

The first known use of identity crisis was in 1941

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More Definitions for identity crisis

identity crisis


English Language Learners Definition of identity crisis

: a feeling of unhappiness and confusion caused by not being sure about what type of person you really are or what the true purpose of your life is

identity crisis


Medical Definition of identity crisis

: personal psychosocial conflict especially in adolescence that involves confusion about one's social role and often a sense of loss of continuity to one's personality

More from Merriam-Webster on identity crisis

Nglish: Translation of identity crisis for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about identity crisis

Comments on identity crisis

What made you want to look up identity crisis? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a tendency to relapse

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