# Definition: Identity

From New World Encyclopedia

## Etymology

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

## Noun

**identity** (countable and uncountable, plural **identities**)

- Sameness, identicalness; the quality or fact of (several specified things) being the same.
- 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*.

- A name or persona—a mask or appearance one presents to the world—by which one is known.
- (mathematics) An equation which always holds true regardless of the choice of input variables.
- (algebra, computing) Any function which maps all elements of its domain to themselves.
- (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

## Credits

*New World Encyclopedia* writers and editors copied and adjusted this *Wiktionary* entry in accordance with *NWE* standards. This article abides by terms of the Creative Commons CC-by-sa 3.0 License (CC-by-sa), which may be used and disseminated with proper attribution. Credit for this article is due to both *New World Encyclopedia* contributors and the selfless volunteer contributors of the Wikimedia Foundation. To cite this article click here for a list acceptable citing formats.The history of earlier contributions at Wiktionary is accessible to researchers here:

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