Definition of identify verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

        

    identify

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪ//
     
    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they identify
    BrE BrE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪ//
     
    he / she / it identifies
    BrE BrE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪz//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪz//
     
    past simple identified
    BrE BrE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪd//
     
    past participle identified
    BrE BrE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪd//
     
    -ing form identifying
    BrE BrE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//aɪˈdentɪfaɪɪŋ//
     
     
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  1. 1  (informal ID) to recognize somebody/something and be able to say who or what they are identify somebody/something as somebody/something The bodies were identified as those of two suspected drug dealers. identify somebody/something She was able to identify her attacker. Passengers were asked to identify their own suitcases before they were put on the plane. Many of those arrested refused to identify themselves (= would not say who they were). First of all we must identify the problem areas.
  2. 2  to find or discover somebody/something identify something Scientists have identified a link between diet and cancer. As yet they have not identified a buyer for the company. identify what, which, etc… They are trying to identify what is wrong with the present system.
  3. 3identify somebody/something (as somebody/something) to make it possible to recognize who or what somebody/something is In many cases, the clothes people wear identify them as belonging to a particular social class.
  4. Word Origin mid 17th cent. (in the sense ‘treat as being identical with’): from medieval Latin identificare, from late Latin identitas (from Latin idem ‘same’) + Latin -ficare (from facere ‘make’).Extra examples All three structures dated to the third century and were tentatively identified as shrines. Business trends are rapidly identified by this system. Did you identify all the pictures correctly? Great orchestras came to be identified increasingly with German conductors. He has stepped up efforts to identify and acquire other small companies. I can’t identify with men like him. I could identify him easily if I saw him again. Jaime successfully identified all 45 different species. Most students failed to identify the quotation. Ms. Wilson was publicly identified as a CIA operative. Participants learn to identify different species by their calls. She identified strongly with the main character in the play. Someone has to formally identify the body. The new test will enable us to identify more accurately patients who are most at risk. The newspaper declined to identify the source of the allegations. The policy is closely identified with the President himself. The pressbook did not specifically identify the film’s setting. The researchers hope to identify ways to improve the treatment. The surgeon visually identifies and cuts out the cancerous tissue. We have not yet clearly identified the source of the pollution. a computer program to automatically identify any query ending with a question mark a serial number that uniquely identifies the disk one means of identifying the disease in its early stages tests that can identify people at risk of cancer First of all we must identify the problem areas within the system. Many of those arrested refused to identify themselves. She was able to positively identify her attacker. Phrasal Verbsbe identified with somebodyidentify with somebodyidentify somebody with somethingidentify something with something
Synonymsidentifyknow recognize name make somebody/​something outThese words all mean to be able to see or hear somebody/​something and especially to be able to say who or what they are.identify to be able to say who or what somebody/​something is:She was able to identify her attacker.know to be able to say who or what something is when you see or hear it because you have seen or heard it before Know is used especially to talk about sounds that seem familiar and when somebody recognizes the quality or opportunity that somebody/​something represents:I couldn’t see who was speaking, but I knew the voice. She knows a bargain when she sees one.recognize to know who somebody is or what something is when you see or hear them/​it, because you have seen or heard them/​it before:I recognized him as soon as he came in the room.name to say the name of somebody/​something in order to show that you know who/​what they are:The victim has not yet been named.make somebody/​something out to manage to see or hear somebody/​something that is not very clear:I could just make out a figure in the darkness.Patterns to identify/​know/​recognize somebody/​something by something to identify/​recognize/​name somebody/​something as somebody/​something to identify/​know/​recognize/​make out who/​what/​how… to easily/​barely/​just identify/​recognize/​make out somebody/​something
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: identify

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