1

characteristic

noun char·ac·ter·is·tic \ ˌker-ik-tə-ˈris-tik , ˌka-rik- \

Definition of characteristic

1 :a distinguishing trait, quality, or property
  • the characteristics of this breed of dog
2 :the integral part of a common logarithm
3 :the smallest positive integer n which for an operation in a ring or field yields 0 when any element is used n times with the operation

Examples of characteristic in a Sentence

  1. the ability to fashion tools and other characteristics that distinguish human beings from other animals

Recent Examples of characteristic from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'characteristic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of characteristic


2

characteristic

adjective

Definition of characteristic

:revealing, distinguishing, or typical of an individual character
  • a poetic style characteristic of the epic

characteristically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of characteristic in a Sentence

  1. He responded to their comments with characteristic good humor.

  2. the characteristic taste of licorice

Recent Examples of characteristic from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'characteristic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of characteristic

Synonym Discussion of characteristic

characteristic, individual, peculiar, distinctive mean indicating a special quality or identity. characteristic applies to something that distinguishes or identifies a person or thing or class.
    • responded with her characteristic wit
individual stresses qualities that distinguish one from all other members of the same kind or class.
    • a highly individual writing style
peculiar applies to qualities possessed only by a particular individual or class or kind and stresses rarity or uniqueness.
    • an eccentricity that is peculiar to the British
distinctive indicates qualities distinguishing and uncommon and often superior or praiseworthy.
    • a distinctive aura of grace and elegance

CHARACTERISTIC Defined for English Language Learners

characteristic

noun

Definition of characteristic for English Language Learners

  • : a special quality or trait that makes a person, thing, or group different from others


characteristic

adjective

Definition of characteristic for English Language Learners

  • : typical of a person, thing, or group : showing the special qualities or traits of a person, thing, or group


CHARACTERISTIC Defined for Kids

1

characteristic

noun char·ac·ter·is·tic \ ˌker-ək-tə-ˈri-stik \

Definition of characteristic for Students

:a special quality or appearance that makes an individual or a group different from others
  • physical characteristics
  • Gentleness is a characteristic of this dog breed.

2

characteristic

adjective

Definition of characteristic for Students

:serving to distinguish an individual or a group :typical of a person, thing, or group
  • He replied with characteristic good humor.

characteristically

\ˌker-ək-tə-ˈris-ti-kə-lē\ adverb
  • She was characteristically cheerful.

Medical Dictionary

1

characteristic

adjective char·ac·ter·is·tic \ ˌkar-ik-tə-ˈris-tik \

medical Definition of characteristic

:serving to reveal and distinguish the individual character

characteristically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

2

characteristic

noun

medical Definition of characteristic

:a distinguishing trait, quality, or property


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