char·​ac·​ter·​i·​za·​tion ˌker-ik-t(ə-)rə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce characterization (audio)
: the act of characterizing
especially : the artistic representation (as in fiction or drama) of human character or motives
the author's characterization of the boy as someone who wanted to be accepted by others

Examples of characterization in a Sentence

The reporter was criticized for his characterization of the people of the town as poor and uneducated. News reporting requires accurate characterization. The class discussed the author's characterization of the boy as someone who wanted to be accepted by others. The story has good characterization.
Recent Examples on the Web Apple disputes Kiani’s characterization of its App Store commissions. Fortune Editors, Fortune, 8 May 2024 Gun policy has shifted drastically in the United States over the last 50 years, from President Nixon's advocacy for a total ban on handguns to President Reagan's characterization of guns as an American birthright. Abc News, ABC News, 6 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for characterization 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'characterization.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see character entry 1

First Known Use

1841, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of characterization was in 1841

Dictionary Entries Near characterization

Cite this Entry

“Characterization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


char·​ac·​ter·​i·​za·​tion ˌkar-ik-tə-rə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce characterization (audio)
: the act of characterizing
: the creation of characters (as in a book or play)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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