Essential Meaning of identity
1 : who someone is : the name of a person The identity of the criminal/victim is not known. The face of the witness was hidden in order to protect her identity. [=to keep her name from being known] See More ExamplesThe documents proved/established his identity. [=proved/established who he was] They produced their passports as proof of their identities. You will need to show proof of identity. [=something that shows that you are who you say you are] They arrested the wrong man. It was a case of mistaken identity.
2 : the qualities, beliefs, etc., that make a particular person or group different from others As children grow, they establish their own identities. She did not want to be known only as the wife of her husband. She insisted on having her own identity. [=on being known for her own qualities, achievements, etc.] See More Examplespeople who seem to lack individual identity He has a strong sense of personal identity. [=a strong feeling about exactly the kind of person he is] His art reflects his cultural/racial identity.
Full 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
5 : identity element
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