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[ahy-den-tuh-fahy, ih-den-]
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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 of: to identify handwriting; to identify the bearer of a check.
  2. to serve as a means of identification 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.
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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.
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Origin of identify

1635–45; < Medieval Latin identificāre, equivalent to identi(tās) identity + -ficāre -fy
Related formsi·den·ti·fi·a·ble, adjectivei·den·ti·fi·a·bil·i·ty, i·den·ti·fi·a·ble·ness, nouni·den·ti·fi·er, nouno·ver·i·den·ti·fy, verb, o·ver·i·den·ti·fied, o·ver·i·den·ti·fy·ing.pre·i·den·ti·fy, verb (used with object), pre·i·den·ti·fied, pre·i·den·ti·fy·ing.re·i·den·ti·fy, verb (used with object), re·i·den·ti·fied, re·i·den·ti·fy·ing.un·i·den·ti·fi·a·ble, adjectiveun·i·den·ti·fi·a·bly, adverbun·i·den·ti·fied, adjectiveun·i·den·ti·fy·ing, adjectivewell-i·den·ti·fied, adjective


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for identifiable

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And thus comes a long array of signs which are not identifiable always.

    The Tapestry Book

    Helen Churchill Candee

  • It is only in sense-knowledge that the stimulus and what is known are, with qualifications, identifiable.

    The Analysis of Mind

    Bertrand Russell

  • Mrs. Doherty's were identifiable by the high-heeled print of one shoe, and the stocking print of the other foot.

  • Recognition indicates only that an object has sufficiently impressed a mind to keep it known and identifiable.

  • Records have been maintained on the number of identifiable humpbacks seen in these waters including Glacier Bay.

    Humpback Whales in Glacier Bay National Monument, Alaska

    United States Department of Commerce, Marine Mammal Commission

British Dictionary definitions for identifiable


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (mainly tr)
  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 intr often foll by with) to consider (oneself) as similar to another
  4. to determine the taxonomic classification of (a plant or animal)
  5. (intr usually foll by with) psychol to engage in identification
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Derived Formsidentifiable, adjectiveidentifiably, adverb
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

Word Origin and History for identifiable


1804, from identify + -able. Related: Identifiably.

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper