[ ahy-den-ti-tee, ih-den- ]
/ aɪˈdɛn tɪ ti, ɪˈdɛn- /

noun, plural i·den·ti·ties.

Nearby words

  1. identification parade,
  2. identification tag,
  3. identifier,
  4. identify,
  5. identikit,
  6. identity card,
  7. identity crisis,
  8. identity disorder,
  9. identity element,
  10. identity function

Origin of identity

1560–70; < Late Latin identitās, equivalent to Latin ident(idem) repeatedly, again and again, earlier *idem et idem (idem neuter of īdem the same + et and) + -itās -ity

Related formsnon·i·den·ti·ty, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for identity element


/ (aɪˈdɛntɪtɪ) /

noun plural -ties

Word Origin for identity

C16: from Late Latin identitās, from Latin idem the same

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 identity element



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for identity element


[ ī-dĕntĭ-tē ]


The set of behavioral or personal characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group.
The distinct personality of an individual regarded as a persisting entity; individuality.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for identity element

identity element

[ ī-dĕntĭ-tē ]

The element of a set of numbers that when combined with another number under a particular binary operation leaves the second number unchanged. For example, 0 is the identity element under addition for the real numbers, since for any real number a, a + 0 = a, and 1 is the identity element under multiplication for the real numbers, since a X 1 = a.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.