identity crisis


a period or episode of psychological distress, often occurring in adolescence but sometimes in adulthood, when a person seeks a clearer sense of self and an acceptable role in society.
confusion as to goals and priorities: The company is undergoing an identity crisis.

Nearby words

  1. identifier,
  2. identify,
  3. identikit,
  4. identity,
  5. identity card,
  6. identity disorder,
  7. identity element,
  8. identity function,
  9. identity matrix,
  10. identity politics

Origin of identity crisis

First recorded in 1950–55 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Medicine definitions for identity crisis

identity crisis


A psychosocial state or condition of disorientation and role confusion occurring especially in adolescents as a result of conflicting pressures and expectations and often producing acute anxiety.

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