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 The fish in question, called a zoarcid, looks like a creature caught in an identity crisis, too long to be a fish but too short to be an eel, its lips permanently drooping in a sullen pout. Sabrina Imbler, The Atlantic, "An Epic Journey to Adulthood Begins in the Intestines of a Deep-Sea Fish," 16 Feb. 2021 Two weeks into Joe Biden’s first term, the conservative infotainment complex is in the midst of an identity crisis. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, "Fox News and Newsmax Have Lost Their Mojo," 4 Feb. 2021 The flip was the impetus for the resultant identity crisis of the state GOP. Kaelan Deese, Washington Examiner, "Maricopa County board refuses to turn over election equipment for Arizona Senate audit," 3 Feb. 2021 The Democrats have an identity crisis of their own, trying to hold together people like Ben McAdams and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Robert Gehrke: If we want to fix American politics, blow up the two-party system," 24 Jan. 2021 Cringeworthy dialogue, bad jokes and an identity crisis resulted in a failure to launch. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "The worst of TV in 2020, from 'Space Force' to fake audiences to Quibi," 23 Dec. 2020 Now, with three consecutive wins that felt a little 2018-like, there seems to be an identity crisis. Dan Wiederer,, "We had 101 pressing questions for the Chicago Bears at the start of the season. Now, here are the 101 answers.," 29 Dec. 2020 French dressing is going through an identity crisis. Wilson Wong, NBC News, "The FDA wants to get rid of its rules governing the identity of French dressing," 18 Dec. 2020 Now the company named after the folktale—the decacorn stock trading app Robinhood—is at the center of an identity crisis as critics accuse the company of giving up their populist roots in favor of hyper-growth. Lucinda Shen, Fortune, "The problem with VC-backed founders who say they don’t care about getting rich," 3 Dec. 2020

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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The first known use of identity crisis was in 1941

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Statistics for identity crisis

Last Updated

24 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Identity crisis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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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

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