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[ahy-den-tuh-fi-key-shuh n, ih-den-] /aɪˌdɛn tə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən, ɪˌdɛn-/
an act or instance of identifying; the state of being identified.
something that identifies a person, animal, or thing:
He carries identification with him at all times.
Sociology. acceptance as one's own of the values and interests of a social group.
  1. a process by which one ascribes to oneself the qualities or characteristics of another person.
  2. (in psychoanalytic theory) the transference or reaction to one person with the feelings or responses relevant to another, as the identification of a teacher with a parent.
  3. perception of another as an extension of oneself.
Origin of identification
First recorded in 1635-45; identi(fy) + -fication
Related forms
nonidentification, noun
overidentification, noun
preidentification, noun
reidentification, noun
1. association, connection, affiliation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for identification
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They looked at my identification folder and then examined me.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • Frau Augusta turned and glanced furtively at my identification folder.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • I do not wish to have any delay in my identification when it does come.'

    A Woman Intervenes Robert Barr
  • He has no identification tag; he releases Peabody; seems not to know the penalties.

    Slaves of Mercury Nat Schachner
  • There is, however, one objection to this identification that must not be overlooked.

    Byzantine Churches in Constantinople Alexander Van Millingen
British Dictionary definitions for identification


the act of identifying or the state of being identified
  1. something that identifies a person or thing
  2. (as modifier): an identification card
  1. the process of recognizing specific objects as the result of remembering
  2. the process by which one incorporates aspects of another person's personality See also empathy
  3. the transferring of a response from one situation to another because the two bear similar features See also generalization (sense 3)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for identification

1640s, "treating of a thing as the same as another," from French identification, probably from identifier (see identify). Sense of "becoming or feeling oneself one with another" is from 1857. Sense of "determination of identity" is from 1859. Meaning "object or document which marks identity" is from 1947 (short for identification tag, card, etc.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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identification in Medicine

identification i·den·ti·fi·ca·tion (ī-děn'tə-fĭ-kā'shən)

  1. A person's association with the qualities, characteristics, or views of another person or group.

  2. An unconscious process by which a person transfers the response appropriate to a particular person or group to a different person or group.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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