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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 identifying
  • One intriguing tool for either identifying outbreaks or alerting customers to recalls is grocery store customer loyalty cards.
  • When a bird strikes a plane, identifying the species can provide valuable information.
  • Despite the challenges of identifying early humans, there are several candidates for the earliest known members of our species.
  • In no time at all, be an expert at identifying people from the past and drawing conclusions about how they live their lives.
  • identifying performers in film as veterans became a narrative short-cut, a quick way to establish their integrity.
  • identifying birds in the dark is obviously an aural process.
  • His expertise has been key to identifying nearly a dozen new species and types of starfish.
  • She was piling on entomologists with a knack for quickly identifying obscure insects.
  • Any attorney today would be well aware of this risk and would carefully mask any identifying details.
  • He added that a microchemistry test was not even considered suitable for identifying acrylic.
British Dictionary definitions for identifying

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 identifying

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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