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identify

[ahy-den-tuh-fahy, ih-den-] /aɪˈdɛn təˌfaɪ, ɪˈdɛn-/
verb (used with object), identified, identifying.
1.
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.
2.
to serve as a means of identification for:
His gruff voice quickly identified him.
3.
to make, represent to be, or regard or treat as the same or identical:
They identified Jones with the progress of the company.
4.
to associate in name, feeling, interest, action, etc. (usually followed by with):
He preferred not to identify himself with that group.
5.
Biology. to determine to what group (a given specimen) belongs.
6.
Psychology. to associate (one or oneself) with another person or a group of persons by identification.
verb (used without object), identified, identifying.
7.
to experience psychological identification:
The audience identified with the play's characters.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; < Medieval Latin identificāre, equivalent to identi(tās) identity + -ficāre -fy
Related forms
identifiable, adjective
identifiability, identifiableness, noun
identifier, noun
overidentify, verb, overidentified, overidentifying.
preidentify, verb (used with object), preidentified, preidentifying.
reidentify, verb (used with object), reidentified, reidentifying.
unidentifiable, adjective
unidentifiably, adverb
unidentified, adjective
unidentifying, adjective
well-identified, adjective
Synonyms
1. distinguish, place, know, determine.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for identifiable
  • Aside from the distinctive music, mariachi are almost immediately identifiable by their couture.
  • It shakes out the little guy who is identifiable and the big criminals continue to operate.
  • There will never be an identifiable cause for autism.
  • We will seek parental consent before collecting any personally identifiable information.
  • Their extra-tall, pointed dorsal fins are easily identifiable.
  • They are easily identifiable by the blue and red skin on their faces and their brightly hued rumps.
  • Sixteen mummies still had identifiable hearts or arteries.
  • It comes as something of a surprise, therefore, to discover that many of them have no identifiable function whatever.
  • Each variety had a distinct fragrance from the others, but all were easily identifiable as a rose fragrance.
  • What is outside, or persons not identifiable with ourselves, has been disregarded or resented.
British Dictionary definitions for identifiable

identify

/aɪˈdɛntɪˌfaɪ/
verb (mainly transitive) -fies, -fying, -fied
1.
to prove or recognize as being a certain person or thing; determine the identity of
2.
to consider as the same or equivalent
3.
(also intransitive) often foll by with. to consider (oneself) as similar to another
4.
to determine the taxonomic classification of (a plant or animal)
5.
(psychol) (intransitive) usually foll by with. to engage in identification
Derived Forms
identifiable, adjective
identifiably, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for identifiable
adj.

1804, from identify + -able. Related: Identifiably.

identify

v.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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