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1 : sameness of essential character or aspect [collateral estoppel requires of the issues and the parties]
2 a : separate or distinct existence [when movables lose their or become an integral part of the immovable "Louisiana Civil Code"]
b : distinguishing character of a person
: information (as a name or address) that distinguishes a person [is required to reveal the of an informer] [but for a mistake concerning the of the proper party "Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 15(c)"]
3 : the condition of being the same as a thing or person described, claimed, or accused [character evidence of a suspect's past crimes may be admitted to prove the of a crime's perpetrator]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.