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identify Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb recognize as being; establish the identity of someone or something
    • She identified the man on the 'wanted' poster
  2. verb give the name or identifying characteristics of; refer to by name or some other identifying characteristic property
    • Many senators were named in connection with the scandal
    • The almanac identifies the auspicious months
  3. verb consider (oneself) as similar to somebody else
    • He identified with the refugees
  4. verb conceive of as united or associated
    • Sex activity is closely identified with the hypothalamus
  5. verb identify as in botany or biology, for example
    name; describe; discover; key; distinguish; key out.
  6. verb consider to be equal or the same
    • He identified his brother as one of the fugitives

I*den"ti*fy transitive verb
Cf. F. identifier. See Identity, and -fy.
imperfect & past participle Identified ; present participle & verbal noun Identifying
  1. To make to be the same; to unite or combine in such a manner as to make one; to treat as being one or having the same purpose or effect; to consider as the same in any relation.
    Every precaution is taken to identify the interests of the people and of the rulers. D. Ramsay.
    Let us identify, let us incorporate ourselves with the people. Burke.
  2. To establish the identity of; to prove to be the same with something described, claimed, or asserted; as, to identify stolen property.
I*den"ti*fy intransitive verb
  1. To become the same; to coalesce in interest, purpose, use, effect, etc. Obs. or R.
    An enlightened self-interest, which, when well understood, they tell us will identify with an interest more enlarged and public. Burke.

Webster 1913