Meaning of “identify” in the English Dictionary

"identify" in British English

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identifyverb [ T ]

uk /aɪˈden.tɪ.faɪ/ us /aɪˈden.t̬ə.faɪ/

B2 to recognize someone or something and say or prove who or what that person or thing is:

Even the smallest baby can identify its mother by her voice.
The gunman in Wednesday's attack has been identified as Lee Giggs, an unemployed truck driver.
The police officer identified himself (= gave his name or proved who he was) and asked for our help.

B2 to recognize a problem, need, fact, etc. and to show that it exists:

The research will be used to identify training needs.
You need to identify your priorities.

More examples

  • A robin is easy to identify because of its red breast.
  • After she had identified the body of her husband, the police asked her to collect his personal effects.
  • Aircraft are required by law to carry special electronic devices, called transponders, so that they can be identified.
  • The press has identified several people they think are likely to be appointed to government posts in the autumn.
  • How many different trees can you identify?

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

"identify" in American English

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identifyverb [ T ]

us /ɑɪˈdent·əˌfɑɪ/

to recognize or be able to name someone or something, or to prove who or what someone or something is:

Small babies can identify their mothers.
The police officer refused to identify himself.

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

"identify" in Business English

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identifyverb [ T ]

uk /aɪˈdentɪfaɪ/ us

to find and be able to describe someone or something:

identify what/which/who To create an effective advertising campaign you must first identify who your target market is.
A good business recovery service should include an initial risk assessment to identify which essential processes are at risk and how the risk can be reduced.

to say or prove who or what someone or something is:

The document must identify you by name and bear your signature or a readily recognizable photograph of you.
You will be asked to identify yourself at the reception desk when you arrive.

Phrasal verb(s)

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

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