Definition: Identity

From New World Encyclopedia
(Redirected from Identity)


From Middle French identité, from Latin idem (the same).


identity (countable and uncountable, plural identities)

  1. Sameness, identicalness; the quality or fact of (several specified things) being the same.
  2. The difference or character that marks off an individual or collective from the rest of the same kind; selfhood; the sense of who something or someone or oneself is, or the recurring characteristics that enable the recognition of such an individual or group by others or themself.
    I've been through so many changes, I have no sense of identity.
    This nation has a strong identity.
  3. A name or persona—a mask or appearance one presents to the world—by which one is known.
    This criminal has taken on several identities.
    In this show, the competitor's identity will remain secret until after the vote.
  4. (mathematics) An equation which always holds true regardless of the choice of input variables.
  5. (algebra, computing) Any function which maps all elements of its domain to themselves.
  6. (algebra) An element of an algebraic structure which, when applied to another element under an operation in that structure, yields this second element.

Derived terms

  • cultural identity
  • e-identity
  • Euler's identity
  • gender identity
  • identity card
  • identity crisis
  • identity document
  • identity politics
  • identity property
  • identity theft
  • law of identity
  • standard of identity


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