How to pronounce


The word "identity" can be dissected for pronunciation, facilitating understanding for both British and American English speakers. Here are the IPA transcriptions for each:

  • American Pronunciation: /aɪˈdɛntɪti/
    • Begins with the /aɪ/ sound, similar to the word "eye," where the mouth opens wide and the tongue moves high and forward.
    • Followed by the /ˈdɛn/ part, with a short 'e' sound as in "bed," and the 'n' sound produced by pressing the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, just behind the upper front teeth.
    • Ends with the /tɪti/ sound, starting with the 't' sound made by a quick touch of the tongue to the alveolar ridge, followed by a short 'i' sound as in "bit," and repeating the 'ti' sound for a rhythmic ending.
  • British Pronunciation: /aɪˈdɛntɪti/
    • The pronunciation closely mirrors the American with slight variations in the accent and intonation rather than the phonetic components. The /aɪ/, /ˈdɛn/, and /tɪti/ sounds are pronounced similarly in both accents.

Definition of


Identity (n):

  1. The fact of being who or what a person or thing is.
  2. The characteristics determining who or what a person or thing is.

What does it mean


The word "identity" comes from the Late Latin "identitas," which means "sameness," derived from "idem" meaning "the same." The term entered the English language in the early 17th century, initially referring to the exact likeness between things. Over time, its use expanded to include the sense of the distinguishing character or personality of an individual. This expansion reflects a deeper understanding of individuals as unique entities with their own set of characteristics that define who they are. The concept of identity encompasses both the notion of similarity (in terms of belonging to a group) and uniqueness (in terms of individual traits and experiences).

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