identify

identify, incorporate, embody, assimilate are comparable when they mean to bring (one or more things) into union with another thing. Identify involves the idea of a union of things that are or are thought of as identical, or the same; it may imply the actual making of a thing or things the same as another
{

every precaution is taken to identify the interests of the people and of the rulers— Ramsay

}
{

it is the writer's business to identify words with things, emotion with thought— Muller

}
or it may refer to the mental apprehension of a real or imagined identity between things
{

Min was identified with Horus the son of Isis— Mercer

}
{

should make us wary toward those who . . . have identified Americanism with a partisan policy in behalf of concealed economic aims— Dewey

}
This latter use may connote confusion in thought or self-deception
{

it is easy to identify cynicism with honesty and hence with truthfulness— Hamburger

}
Incorporate implies a union of one or more things with another, or of different things, so that when blended, fused, or otherwise united they constitute a uniform substance, a single body, or an integral whole
{

fertilizers should, in general, be incorporated with the soil

}
{

what is learned is of no value until it is incorporated into one's stock of knowledge

}
{

what he does is to incorporate verbatim a good many of Leonardo's notes into a narrative that is entirely his own— William Murray

}
Embody (see also REALIZE 1) is more restricted in its range of application than incorporate because it can be used only when one or more things are made part of another thing that is an ordered whole (as an organized structure, a group, or a system)
{

yet so much of these treaties has been embodied into the general law of Europe— Mackintosh

}
{

a recognized scholar, whose discussion . . . embodies the finest fruits of contemporary opinion and research— E. H. Swift

}
Assimilate (see also ABSORB 1) falls short of identify because it does not always imply the actual fusion or blending or, when self-deception is connoted, the actual confusion, of two things. Like identify, however, assimilate implies the making of two or more things exactly alike, either actually or in thought; thus, to assimilate one's beliefs to those of another is to change them so that they become the same as his; to identify one's beliefs with those of another is to make them one and indistinguishable as well as the same; the d of the Latin prefix ad- is often assimilated to a following consonant as in affectus for adfectus
{

our manufacturing class was assimilated in no time to the conservative classes— H. G. Wells

}
Analogous words: fuse, blend, merge (see MIX): *mistake, confuse, confound

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • identify — iden·ti·fy vt fied, fy·ing 1: to consider as united or associated (as in interests or principles) can ask leading questions of a witness who is identified with an adverse party 2: to establish the identity of identify ing the suspect …   Law dictionary

  • identify — UK US /aɪˈdentɪfaɪ/ verb [T] ► 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… …   Financial and business terms

  • Identify — I*den ti*fy, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Identified}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Identifying}.] [Cf. F. identifier. See {Identity}, and { fy}.] 1. To make to be the same; to unite or combine in such a manner as to make one; to treat as being one or having the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • identify — [ī den′tə fī΄] vt. identified, identifying [LL identificare: see IDENTITY & FY] 1. to make identical; consider or treat as the same [to identify one s interests with another s] 2. to recognize as being or show to be the very person or thing known …   English World dictionary

  • identify — ► VERB (identifies, identified) 1) establish the identity of. 2) recognize or select by analysis. 3) (identify with) regard oneself as sharing the same characteristics or thinking as (someone else). 4) (identify with) associate (someone or… …   English terms dictionary

  • Identify — I*den ti*fy, v. i. 1. To become the same; to coalesce in interest, purpose, use, effect, etc. [Obs. or R.] 2. To coalesce in interest, purpose, use, effect, etc.; to associate oneself in name, goals, or feelings; usually used with with; as, he… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • identify — (v.) 1640s, regard as the same, from Fr. identifier, from identité (see IDENTITY (Cf. identity)). Sense of recognize first recorded 1769. Meaning make one (with), associate (oneself) is from 1780. Sense of serve as means of identification is… …   Etymology dictionary

  • identify — [v] recognize; label analyze, button down*, card, catalog, classify, describe, determinate, determine, diagnose, diagnosticate, distinguish, establish, find, make out, name, peg*, pick out, pinpoint, place, put one’s finger on*, select, separate …   New thesaurus

  • identify — verb ADVERB ▪ accurately, correctly, rightly ▪ The new test will enable us to identify more accurately patients who are most at risk. ▪ Did you identify all the pictures correctly? ▪ falsely …   Collocations dictionary

  • identify — [[t]aɪde̱ntɪfaɪ[/t]] ♦♦ identifies, identifying, identified 1) VERB If you can identify someone or something, you are able to recognize them or distinguish them from others. [V n] There are a number of distinguishing characteristics by which you… …   English dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.