identified; identifying; identifies
Essential Meaning of identify
1 : to know and say who someone is or what something is She identified the dog as her lost pet. He was able to correctly identify the mushroom. See More ExamplesThe witness positively identified the suspect in the crime. She was easily identified by what she was wearing. [=it was easy to see who she was because of what she was wearing] He has a talent for identifying [=recognizing] good workers.
2 : to find out who someone is or what something is The corpse was identified on the basis of dental records. They could not identify the source of the quotation. See More ExamplesThey had no difficulty in identifying the problem. We began by identifying what we needed for the job. We need to identify the causes of unemployment.
3 : to show who someone is or what something is His clothes identified him as a clerk. [=his clothes showed that he was a clerk] an identifying mark/feature [=a mark/feature that shows who someone is or what something is]
Full Definition of identify
1a : to perceive or state the identity of (someone or something) "It's the young man!" I thought, feeling my heart shoot as I identified him.— Charlies Dickens Mr. Mace identified the phial handed him by Counsel as that sold by him to "Mr. Inglethorp."— Agatha Christie Hitters say the spitball is easily identified because, while it has the speed of a fastball, it scarcely rotates.— Ron Fimrite
b(1) : to ascertain the identity of (someone or something that is unfamiliar or unknown) He was able to quickly identify the problem. Police have identified a person of interest. Dr. McGovern explains that "identifying the cause of the disease is a breakthrough. …" — The Chronicle of the Horse
(2) : to determine the taxonomic position or category of (a biological specimen) We were able to identify the plant as belonging to the nightshade family.
2a : to conceive as united (as in spirit, outlook, or principle) These groups are identified with conservation.
b : to cause to be or become identical identified her interests with theirs Sometimes people identify success with money, but for me it's giving of yourself.— Lorna E. Barnes In some strange way the boat became identified with himself, and just as it would have been useless for him to get up and steer the boat, so was it useless for him to struggle any longer with the irresistible force of his own feelings.— Virginia Woolf
1 : to feel a sense of unity (as of interests, purpose, or effect) and close emotional association : to engage in psychological identification Many readers identify with the hero of a novel. I could identify with the anxiety she was experiencing.
2 : to have or assert an identity of a specified kind Of the high school students who participated, 77% identified as female, 20% identified as male, 2% identified as nonbinary …— Elizabeth Beyer
3 archaic : to be or become the same … new channels of communication will be opened between the States, the lines of separation will disappear, their interests will be identified, and their union cemented by new and indissoluble bonds.— Thomas Jefferson
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