overidentify

verb

over·​iden·​ti·​fy ˌō-vər-ī-ˈden-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce overidentify (audio)
-ə-
overidentified; overidentifying
1
transitive + intransitive : to engage in excessive or inappropriate psychological identification
a therapist overidentifying with a client
The danger of overidentifying with animals, particularly carnivores, is that it leads people to expect human behavior of them.Dana Goodyear
[Russell] Moore worries that conservative Evangelicals have overidentified themselves not just with the particular political salvation tale of the GOP, but with old-school "American family values" as a sign of godliness.Ed Kilgore
2
transitive : to identify (something or someone) excessively and often incorrectly
the brain's tendency to overidentify faces in random shapes
overidentification noun
Overidentification with the child client can undermine parents … Annette Shore
… the overidentification of some students of some backgrounds as having particular disabilities. Nirvi Shah

Examples of overidentify in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Some of these dedicated professionals may overidentify with their jobs, increasing the potential for burnout. Liz Kislik, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'overidentify.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1945, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of overidentify was in 1945

Dictionary Entries Near overidentify

Cite this Entry

“Overidentify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overidentify. Accessed 19 Jul. 2024.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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