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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 identify
  • Although symptoms may differ, they often overlap, which can make it difficult to identify the organism by symptoms alone.
  • But some journalists were able to identify the doctors based on information from court files and other sources.
  • Hay and colleagues then mashed up several of these seaweeds to identify their killer concoction.
  • Sift through your contacts to identify people who might be interested, even though they haven't explicitly opted in.
  • People traditionally needed to identify alarm sounds quickly, but sounds of play were relatively unimportant.
  • Carbohydrate molecules surround all cells and help them to identify and interact with one another.
  • Volunteers listen for frogs, identify the species, and give population estimates.
  • Tracking such data could identify groups at risk for future genocide.
  • The point is, it doesn't matter how you identify yourself, you will be branded as you are perceived.
  • He hopes to use it to identify specific dolphin sounds.
British Dictionary definitions for identify

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 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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