identity

noun
iden·​ti·​ty | \ ī-ˈden-tə-tē How to pronounce identity (audio) , ə-, -ˈde-nə-\
plural identities

Definition of identity

1a : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual : individuality
b : the relation established by psychological identification
2 : the condition of being the same with something described or asserted establish the identity of stolen goods
3a : sameness of essential or generic character in different instances
b : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : oneness
4 : an equation that is satisfied for all values of the symbols

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Callamard cites that the identities of those on trial have yet to be released, nor the charges brought against them. Luke Mcgee, CNN, "10 key findings from the report into Jamal Khashoggi's killing," 19 June 2019 The sheriff's office was not releasing the identities of anyone involved in the crash Wednesday evening pending family notifications. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two semis catch fire in crash that closes I-94 in Racine County; at least two killed, three injured," 19 June 2019 Police were still seeking the identity of the man seen on video who is wearing a white shirt and teal shorts. Cnn.com Wire Service, The Mercury News, "Watch: Baseball parents brawl in dispute over 13-year-old umpire," 19 June 2019 Police currently are not releasing the identity of the victim. Cliff Pinckard, cleveland.com, "Akron police arrest suspect in death of 68-year-old woman," 19 June 2019 Police were not immediately disclosing the identity of the shooting victim or any other details about what may have happened. Wayne K. Roustan, sun-sentinel.com, "Cops work all night, in rain, after fatal shooting in Lauderhill," 17 June 2019 Citizens have organized themselves through civil society, business and school groups and worked to minimize the identity of leaders to avoid reprisals from the government. Youyou Zhou, Quartz, "Hong Kong democracy activist Joshua Wong has been released from prison," 16 June 2019 Ray Kelly would not confirm the identity of the Raptors executive when reached by The Chronicle. Jon Schultz, SFChronicle.com, "Raptors executive strikes deputy after Game 6 of NBA Finals at Oracle Arena," 14 June 2019 During a recent shift, Anchorage Officer T. Scott Masten used the network to look up photos that confirmed the identity of a man found sleeping in a car in a church parking lot. Author: Rachel D'oro, Anchorage Daily News, "Big earthquake let Anchorage police test new national broadband network for first responders," 13 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of identity

1545, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for identity

Middle French identité, from Late Latin identitat-, identitas, probably from Latin identidem repeatedly, contraction of idem et idem, literally, same and same

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Statistics for identity

Last Updated

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for identity

The first known use of identity was in 1545

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More Definitions for identity

identity

noun

English Language Learners Definition of identity

: who someone is : the name of a person
: the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others

identity

noun
iden·​ti·​ty | \ ī-ˈden-tə-tē How to pronounce identity (audio) \
plural identities

Kids Definition of identity

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.

identity

noun
iden·​ti·​ty | \ ī-ˈden(t)-ət-ē, ə-ˈ How to pronounce identity (audio) \
plural identities

Medical Definition of identity

1 : the distinguishing character or personality of an individual
2 : the relation established by psychological identification

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identity

noun
iden·​ti·​ty
plural identities

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 immovableLouisiana 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

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More from Merriam-Webster on identity

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with identity

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for identity

Spanish Central: Translation of identity

Nglish: Translation of identity for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of identity for Arabic Speakers

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