noun, plural i·den·ti·ties.
- an equation that is valid for all values of its variables.
- Also called identity element, unit element, unity. an element in a set such that the element operating on any other element of the set leaves the second element unchanged.
- the property of a function or map such that each element is mapped into itself.
- the function or map itself.
Origin of identity
“One’s personal characteristics, or the sense of who one is, as perceived by the person or by others,” is a meaning of identity that dates from the early 18th century. Since then, issues of personal identity, especially sexual and gender identity, have provoked discussions about one’s overlapping roles in society. The phrase identity politics “political activity based on or catering to the cultural, ethnic, gender, racial, religious, or social interests that characterize a group identity” was coined in 1973.
Examples from the Web for identity
They are not the actual traffickers, Yazbek says, so generally the other refugees protect their identity.
But those strands of his identity are all wound around the conspiracy that led him back to Gambia for the first time in 23 years.The Shadowy U.S. Veteran Who Tried to Overthrow a Country|Jacob Siegel|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Identity issues seem to have dogged Otis since his troubles began.His First Day Out Of Jail After 40 Years: Adjusting To Life Outside|Justin Rohrlich|January 3, 2015|DAILY BEAST
In a remote location with little means for economic development, the Brogpas have cultivating this identity to their advantage.
Every facet of his identity, taken alone, seemed at war with every other part of him.
Jabez Smith acknowledged his identity and received news of his brother-in-law and his daughter with no signs of pleasure.Ethel Morton's Enterprise|Mabell S.C. Smith
It will be a gigantic step forward if I learn the identity of his mysterious customer.The Secret Pact|Mildred A. Wirt
But what seemed to anger them more than all, was the identity of the lad.The Boy Scouts at the Battle of Saratoga|Herbert Carter
There was money in plenty upon his person, but not an article that would give the slightest clue to his identity.A Breath of Prairie and other stories|Will Lillibridge
Pawson smiled faintly, then his eyebrows lost their identity in some well-defined wrinkles in his forehead.Kennedy Square|F. Hopkinson Smith
British Dictionary definitions for identity
noun plural -ties
- that relation that holds only between any entity and itself
- an assertion that that relation holds, as Cicero is Tully
- an equation that is valid for all values of its variables, as in (x – y)(x + y) = x ² – y ². Often denoted by the symbol ≡
- Also called: identity element a member of a set that when operating on another member, x, produces that member x: the identity for multiplication of numbers is 1 since x .1 = 1. x = xSee also inverse (def. 2b)
Word Origin for identity
Word Origin and History for identity
c.1600, "sameness, oneness," from Middle French identité (14c.), from Late Latin (5c.) identitatem (nominative identitas) "sameness," from ident-, comb. form of Latin idem (neuter) "the same" (see identical); abstracted from identidem "over and over," from phrase idem et idem. [For discussion of Latin formation, see entry in OED.] Earlier form of the word in English was idemptitie (1560s), from Medieval Latin idemptitas. Term identity crisis first recorded 1954. Identity theft attested from 1995.