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Etymology 1[edit]

From a later form of ithand, itself an alteration (due to assimilation to suffix -and) of Middle English ithen, from Old Norse iðinn (assiduous, diligent), from iðja, iðna (to do, perform), from (a restless motion), equivalent to ithe +‎ -and and/or ithe +‎ -en. Cognate with Icelandic iðinn (diligent), Norwegian idig (busy), Danish id (pursuit, calling, business). More at ithand.

Alternative forms[edit]


ident (comparative more ident, superlative most ident)

  1. (now chiefly dialectal, Northern England, Scotland) Diligent; persistent.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Shortened form of identification.


ident (plural idents)

  1. Identification.
  2. (radio, television) A brief audio or audiovisual sequence serving to identify the broadcaster.
    • 2002, Jane Austin, Graphic Originals:
      In 1999 Chaudoir and fellow BBC designer Tim Platt were given the task of rebranding the existing BBC2 idents.
  3. (Internet) A protocol serving to identify the user of a particular TCP connection, used especially on IRC networks.
    • 2004, Eoghan Casey, Digital Evidence and Computer Crime:
      [] the intruder installed an IRC bot and French ident daemon to reply to IRC servers with a name other than root.
  4. Identifier. (Can we add an example for this sense?)