- 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.
- to serve as a means of identification for: His gruff voice quickly identified him.
- to make, represent to be, or regard or treat as the same or identical: They identified Jones with the progress of the company.
- to associate in name, feeling, interest, action, etc. (usually followed by with): He preferred not to identify himself with that group.
- Biology. to determine to what group (a given specimen) belongs.
- Psychology. to associate (one or oneself) with another person or a group of persons by identification.
- 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.
- to experience psychological identification: The audience identified with the play's characters.
Origin of identify
Examples from the Web for unidentifiable
Henry found paperwork revealing the Army had recovered the destroyed vehicle and two badly burned, unidentifiable bodies.The WWII Hero America Abandoned
Megan McCloskey, ProPublica
March 21, 2014
He was as unidentifiable as would be a shot escaping back into a bag of its fellows.That Last Waif
My best razors are, of course, at the bottom of some unidentifiable trunk.The Trimmed Lamp
Some quality in the man—his manner of speech, the tone of his laugh, or that faint, unidentifiable taint—made him uneasy.
Investigate and you find chunks of carrot and other unidentifiable material, and now and then a bit of mysterious meat.A Yankee in the Trenches
R. Derby Holmes
Mr. Chitterwick began to tremble and he blinked furiously, reaching out and finding flesh, cold and hard, unidentifiable.Elegy
- to prove or recognize as being a certain person or thing; determine the identity of
- to consider as the same or equivalent
- (also intr often foll by with) to consider (oneself) as similar to another
- to determine the taxonomic classification of (a plant or animal)
- (intr usually foll by with) psychol to engage in identification
Word Origin and History for unidentifiable
1640s, "regard as the same," from French identifier, from identité (see identity). Sense of "recognize" first recorded 1769. Meaning "make one (with), associate (oneself)" is from 1780. Sense of "serve as means of identification" is attested by 1886. Related: Identified; identifying.