View synonyms for identify


[ ahy-den-tuh-fahy, ih-den- ]

verb (used with object)

, i·den·ti·fied, i·den·ti·fy·ing.
  1. to recognize or establish as being a particular person or thing; verify the identity none of:

    to identify handwriting; to identify the bearer of a check.

    Synonyms: determine, know, place, distinguish

  2. to serve as a means of identification none for:

    His gruff voice quickly identified him.

  3. to make, represent to be, or regard or treat as the same or identical:

    They identified Jones with the progress of the company.

  4. to associate in name, feeling, interest, action, etc. (usually followed by with ):

    He preferred not to identify himself with that group.

  5. Biology. to determine to what group (a given specimen) belongs.
  6. Psychology. to associate (one or oneself ) with another person or a group of persons by identification none.

verb (used without object)

, i·den·ti·fied, i·den·ti·fy·ing.
  1. 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.

  2. to experience psychological identification:

    The audience identified with the play's characters.


/ aɪˈdɛntɪˌfaɪ /


  1. to prove or recognize as being a certain person or thing; determine the identity of
  2. to consider as the same or equivalent
  3. also introften foll bywith to consider (oneself) as similar to another
  4. to determine the taxonomic classification of (a plant or animal)
  5. intrusually foll bywith psychol to engage in identification

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Derived Forms

  • iˈdentiˌfiable, adjective
  • iˈdentiˌfiably, adverb

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Other Words From

  • i·denti·fia·ble adjective
  • i·denti·fia·bili·ty i·denti·fia·ble·ness noun
  • i·denti·fier noun
  • over·i·denti·fy verb overidentified overidentifying
  • prei·denti·fy verb (used with object) preidentified preidentifying
  • rei·denti·fy verb (used with object) reidentified reidentifying
  • uni·denti·fia·ble adjective
  • uni·denti·fia·bly adverb
  • uni·denti·fied adjective
  • uni·denti·fying adjective
  • well-i·denti·fied adjective

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Word History and Origins

Origin of identify1

First recorded in 1635–45; from Medieval Latin identificāre, equivalent to identi(tās) identity none + -ficāre -fy none

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Example Sentences

We have thousands of users who identify themselves as transgendered and they are welcome members of the Grindr community.

He loves the fact that, like on Grindr, users can identify as transgender.

But most likely it was linked to the way priests identify with the poor in the face of government and criminal abuses.

Certainly my instinct is to identify with the police, no matter the circumstance.

The others are difficult to identify, since they reacted with other oxygen-bearing molecules in the soil.

Ordinarily, no attempt is made to identify any but the tubercle bacillus and the gonococcus.

All the same, she was quite at a loss to know how she was to identify the General Maxgregor when he did come.

In some cases proper evidence may be used to identify things where the description in the will is ambiguous.

The thing bequeathed must be described with sufficient clearness to identify it, nothing more is required.

However, both let it pass, and no one through the whole school attempted to identify it.