[ ahy-den-tuh-fahy, ih-den- ]
See synonyms for: identifyidentifiedidentifiesidentifying on

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.

  1. to make, represent to be, or regard or treat as the same or identical: They identified Jones with the progress of the company.

  2. to associate in name, feeling, interest, action, etc. (usually followed by with): He preferred not to identify himself with that group.

  3. Biology. to determine to what group (a given specimen) belongs.

  4. Psychology. to associate (one or oneself) with another person or a group of persons by identification.

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.

Origin of identify

First recorded in 1635–45; from Medieval Latin identificāre, equivalent to identi(tās) identity + -ficāre -fy

Other words for identify

Other words from identify

  • 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, 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, 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use identify in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for identify


/ (aɪˈdɛntɪˌfaɪ) /

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

  1. (also intr often foll by with) to consider (oneself) as similar to another

  2. to determine the taxonomic classification of (a plant or animal)

  3. (intr usually foll by with) psychol to engage in identification

Derived forms of identify

  • identifiable, adjective
  • identifiably, 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