over·​iden·​ti·​fy | \ ˌō-vər-ī-ˈden-tə-ˌfī How to pronounce overidentify (audio) , -ə- \
overidentified; overidentifying

Definition of overidentify

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

Other Words from overidentify

overidentification \ ˌō-​vər-​ī-​ˌden-​tə-​fə-​ˈkā-​shən How to pronounce overidentify (audio) , -​ə-​ \ 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

First Known Use of overidentify

1945, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of overidentify was in 1945

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Cite this Entry

“Overidentify.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/overidentify. Accessed 26 Oct. 2021.

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