Meaning of “identity” in the English Dictionary

"identity" in British English

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identitynoun [ C or U ]

uk /aɪˈden.tə.ti/ us /aɪˈden.t̬ə.t̬i/

B2 who a person is, or the qualities of a person or group that make them different from others:

The man's identity was being kept secret while he was helping police with enquiries.
I cannot reveal the identity of my source.
The informant was given a new identity (= a different name and new official documents) for protection.
The newspaper photo apparently showed him in Rome but it was a case of mistaken identity (= it was the wrong person).
In prison people often suffer from a loss of identity.
I think my job gives me a sense of identity.

More examples

  • He was quite certain about his attacker's identity.
  • He assumed a false identity in order to escape from the police.
  • To conceal his identity, the man's words are being read by an actor.
  • Through a process of deduction , the detectives discovered the identity of the killer.
  • Australia has its own cultural identity, which is very different from that of Britain.

(Definition of “identity” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"identity" in American English

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identitynoun [ C ]

us /ɑɪˈden·tɪ·t̬i/

identity noun [ C ] (person)

who a person is, or the qualities of a person or group that make them different from others:

[ U ] As a journalist she refuses to reveal the identity of her source.

identity noun [ C ] (mathematical statement)

algebra an equation (= mathematical statement) that is true for every value given to a variable (= number that can change)

(Definition of “identity” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"identity" in Business English

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identitynoun [ C or U ]

uk /aɪˈdentəti/ us plural identities

the reputation, characteristics, etc. of a person or organization that makes the public think about them in a particular way:

Companies often spend a fortune on branding in their attempts to communicate their identity.

who a person is, or information that proves who a person is, for example, their name and date of birth:

When applying for a driver license or identification card, you must provide proof of your identity.
confirm/prove your identity You may be asked to confirm your identity by phone.

(Definition of “identity” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)