Meaning of IDENTITY in English


īˈden(t)əd.ē, ə̇ˈden-, -ətē, -i noun

( -es )

Etymology: Middle French identité, from Late Latin identitat-, identitas, irregular from Latin idem same (from is he) + -itat-, -itas -ity — more at iterate


a. : sameness of essential or generic character in different examples or instances : the limit approached by increasing similarity

the identity of the red in the rug with the red of a brick

b. : sameness in all that constitutes the objective reality of a thing : selfsameness , oneness : sameness of that which is distinguishable only in some accidental fashion (as being designated by different names, or the object of different perceptions, or different in time and place)

the identity of Scott with the author of Waverley

the sense of identity arising in shared experience

c. : an instance of such sameness

2. : unity and persistence of personality : unity or individual comprehensiveness of a life or character

lost consciousness of his own identity

3. : the condition of being the same with something described, claimed, or asserted or of possessing a character claimed

establish the identity of stolen goods

4. archaic : individual or real existence

5. Schellingian philosophy : reality at its deepest level at which subject and object are one


a. : identical proposition

b. : identical equation

7. Australia : character 8a

8. or identity element : an operator that leaves unchanged an element on which it operates

since if zero is added to any integer, the sum is the same integer, zero is an additive identity

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.