identity crisis

noun

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

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 But make no mistake: The party’s identity crisis will be front and center after November, especially if Nancy Pelosi steps down or gets dislodged as the leader of House Democrats. James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: Crowley going down spotlights the looming Democratic identity crisis," 27 June 2018 Paris 7th's identity crisis continues, but not on the plate. Bud Kennedy, star-telegram, "Fine dining without the price: Two deals you won't want to miss | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 9 Apr. 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.

See More

First Known Use of identity crisis

1941, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about identity crisis

Share identity crisis

Statistics for identity crisis

Last Updated

20 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for identity crisis

The first known use of identity crisis was in 1941

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for identity crisis

identity crisis

noun

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

noun

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

Britannica.com: 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).

WORD OF THE DAY

to corrupt or become corrupted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A Green Quiz

  • shamrock
  • What is the best definition of green-eyed monster?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!