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 central story of The Little Mermaid is, of course, 16-year-old Ariel’s identity crisis. Michael Landis, Smithsonian, "‘The Little Mermaid’ Was Way More Subversive Than You Realized," 5 Nov. 2019 As the Warriors visit Oklahoma City on Sunday for their second game of the season, both men feel the sting of an identity crisis — and neither team even remotely connects to the past. Bruce Jenkins,, "Warriors-Thunder matchup relegated to obscurity, but there’s hope," 26 Oct. 2019 Paul Rudd has an identity crisis in Living With Yourself. Dan Snierson,, "Living With Yourself star Paul Rudd on giving himself mouth-to-mouth and that bonkers ending," 21 Oct. 2019 Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, and Annie Potts headline the returning voice cast and Tony Hale is Forky, an arts and crafts project made from a plastic spork who suffers from an identity crisis. oregonlive, "Home viewing this week: ‘Toy Story 4,’ ‘Missing Link,’ ‘Midsommar,’ ‘El Camino,’ ‘Red Joan,’ ‘The Forest of Love’," 11 Oct. 2019 Boston cream pie has suffered an identity crisis throughout the years. Claire Perez,, "Boston cream pie takes the cake at Kelly’s Landing," 11 Oct. 2019 With The Office going to NBCUniversal and Friends (even after a massive $100 million deal with Netflix that let the streamer air the sitcom for just one year) headed to HBO Max, Netflix is facing an identity crisis. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "Netflix Snags ‘Seinfeld’ in Five-Year Sony Pact," 16 Sep. 2019 Three weeks in and the ACC faces an identity crisis. Matt Murschel,, "College football upsets, officiating errors among top 10 things we learned during Week 3," 15 Sep. 2019 Past seasons had seen Uribe grapple with an identity crisis as a switch hitter, and even at times, resorting to slapping, in limited opportunities. Andrew Turner, Daily Pilot, "Daily Pilot Softball Dream Team: Grace Uribe gave Huntington Beach a puncher’s chance," 26 July 2019

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

Time Traveler for identity crisis

Time Traveler

The first known use of identity crisis was in 1941

See more words from the same year

Statistics for identity crisis

Last Updated

11 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Identity crisis.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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).


delight or enjoyment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Scrabble Words—A Quiz

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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