mis·​iden·​ti·​fy | \ ˌmis-ī-ˈden-tə-ˌfī , -ə-\
misidentified; misidentifying

Definition of misidentify

transitive verb

: to identify (someone or something) incorrectly … a coroner apparently misidentified the bullet he removed from the victim, stating that its caliber differed from that of the bullet entered as evidence against the known shooter.— David Fisher While examining the American Museum's collection, I came across a mongoose specimen that was clearly misidentified.— W. Chris Wozencraft

First Known Use of misidentify

1867, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about misidentify

Share misidentify

Statistics for misidentify

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for misidentify

The first known use of misidentify was in 1867

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on misidentify

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with misidentify

Comments on misidentify

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


a servile follower or underling

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!