• IPA: /aɪˈdɛn.tɪ.faɪ/, /ɪˈdɛn.tɪ.faɪ/

identify (identifies, present participle identifying; past and past participle identified)

  1. (transitive) To establish the identity of someone or something.
  2. (transitive) To disclose the identity of someone.
    The Associated Press will not identify the suspect of the crime because he is a juvenile.
  3. (transitive, biology) To establish the taxonomic classification of an organism.
  4. (transitive) To equate or make the same; to unite or combine into one.
    • Every precaution is taken to identify the interests of the people and of the rulers.
    • Let us identify, let us incorporate ourselves with the people.
  5. (reflexive) To have a strong affinity with; to feel oneself to be modelled on or connected to.
    • 1999, Joyce Crick, translating Sigmund Freud, The Interpretation of Dreams, Oxford 2008, p. 117:
      The dream is given a new interpretation if in her dream she means not herself but her friend, if she has put herself in the place of her friend, or, as we may say, she has identified transterm identifiziert herself with her. (Der Traum erhält eine neue Deutung, wenn sie im Traum nicht sich, sondern die Freundin meint, wenn sie sich an die Stelle der Freundin gesetzt oder, wie wir sagen können, sich mit ihr identifiziert hat.)
    • 2012, Christoper Zara, Tortured Artists: From Picasso and Monroe to Warhol and Winehouse, the Twisted Secrets of the World's Most Creative Minds, part 1, chapter 1, gbooks
      Cash endures because his most well-known songs—“I Walk the Line” and “Ring of Fire” among them—weave deeply personal narratives with which listeners of all stripes can effortlessly identify.
  6. (intransitive) To associate oneself with some group.
  7. (intransitive) To claim an identity; to describe oneself as a member of a group; to assert the use of a particular term to describe oneself.
Synonyms Related terms Translations Translations Translations
  • French: s'identifier à
  • Portuguese: identificar-se
  • Russian: отождествля́ться
  • Spanish: identificarse

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