- to recognize or establish as being a particular person or thing; verify the identity of: to identify handwriting; to identify the bearer of a check.
- to serve as a means of identification for: His gruff voice quickly identified him.
- to make, represent to be, or regard or treat as the same or identical: They identified Jones with the progress of the company.
- to associate in name, feeling, interest, action, etc. (usually followed by with): He preferred not to identify himself with that group.
- Biology. to determine to what group (a given specimen) belongs.
- Psychology. to associate (one or oneself) with another person or a group of persons by identification.
- to associate oneself in feeling, interest, action, etc., with a specified group or belief system (usually followed by as or with): He identifies as bisexual. She identifies with feminism. My family identifies Hispanic.
- to experience psychological identification: The audience identified with the play's characters.
Origin of identify
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for identifies
He identifies as transgender on Scruff but not always on Grindr.Grindr’s Trans Dating Problem
January 9, 2015
She told a story of a fellow employee who identifies as a butch dyke (a lesbian who takes on a more masculine identity).The LGBT Center That Changed Our Lives
December 22, 2014
Hitchcock identifies the good stuff quickly, and his own ideas are almost always right.Alfred Hitchcock’s Fade to Black: The Great Director’s Final Days
December 13, 2014
That goes without saying, as no one woman could aptly represent everyone who identifies within that category.Lena Vs. The Feminist Police
November 9, 2014
He identifies as “brusque” like other New York City residents.Andrew Cuomo Ignores Rural New York
November 8, 2014
A French legend, on the other hand, identifies 'the man' with Judas Iscariot.Storyology
At first she (like Janet) identifies sandwiches with biscuits.A Tangled Tale
Man sees the unexpected once and identifies it as hallucination.Fantazius Mallare
He identifies God's will with his wisdom, and God's wisdom with right action.A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy
To what extent she now identifies objects by their odour is hard to determine.Story of My Life
- to prove or recognize as being a certain person or thing; determine the identity of
- to consider as the same or equivalent
- (also intr often foll by with) to consider (oneself) as similar to another
- to determine the taxonomic classification of (a plant or animal)
- (intr usually foll by with) psychol to engage in identification
Word Origin and History for identifies
1640s, "regard as the same," from French identifier, from identité (see identity). Sense of "recognize" first recorded 1769. Meaning "make one (with), associate (oneself)" is from 1780. Sense of "serve as means of identification" is attested by 1886. Related: Identified; identifying.