Etymology
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identify (v.)

1640s, "regard as the same," from French identifier, from identité (see identity). Sense of "determine the identity of, recognize as or prove to be the same" first recorded 1769. Meaning "make one (with), associate (oneself), regard oneself as being the essence of" is from 1780. Sense of "serve as means of identification" is attested by 1886. Related: Identified; identifying.

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Definitions of identify

identify (v.)
recognize as being; establish the identity of someone or something;
She identified the man on the `wanted' poster
Synonyms: place
identify (v.)
give the name or identifying characteristics of; refer to by name or some other identifying characteristic property;
Synonyms: name
identify (v.)
consider (oneself) as similar to somebody else;
He identified with the refugees
identify (v.)
conceive of as united or associated;
Sex activity is closely identified with the hypothalamus
identify (v.)
identify as in botany or biology, for example;
Synonyms: discover / key / key out / distinguish / describe / name
identify (v.)
consider to be equal or the same;
He identified his brother as one of the fugitives
From wordnet.princeton.edu