[ahy-den-tuh-fi-key-shuhn, ih-den-]


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 formsnon·i·den·ti·fi·ca·tion, nouno·ver·i·den·ti·fi·ca·tion, nounpre·i·den·ti·fi·ca·tion, nounre·i·den·ti·fi·ca·tion, noun

Synonyms for identification Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for identification

Contemporary Examples of identification

Historical Examples of identification

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 personalitySee also empathy
  3. the transferring of a response from one situation to another because the two bear similar featuresSee also generalization (def. 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

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

identification in Medicine




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