char·​ac·​ter·​i·​za·​tion | \ ˌker-ik-t(ə-)rə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce characterization (audio) , ˌka-rik- \

Definition of characterization

: 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Mariann Wang, one of his accuser's attorneys, said this characterization is unfair to the women who were on the receiving end of this behavior. Jenna Ryu, USA TODAY, 4 Aug. 2021 The characterization is in line with the framing Cosby’s legal team has used throughout his prosecution and conviction. NBC News, 2 July 2021 The district, which has about 1,000 high school students, said this characterization is false. Dallas News, 19 May 2021 Jones' characterization of the election was false: Georgia has already tallied the results to confirm Biden's victory there three times and conducted an audit of absentee ballot signatures. Eric Bradner, CNN, 19 May 2021 This characterization could not be further from the truth for Schneider Electric. Mark Vena, Forbes, 5 May 2021 Austin objected to that characterization, pointing out that the world had watched the United States lead a historic evacuation of 124,000 people in just 17 days. Compiled Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, 29 Sep. 2021 The characterization appears to draw directly from the blood libel slander, the medieval and modern conspiracy theory that Jews annually kidnap and murder Christian children. David M. Perry, CNN, 28 Sep. 2021 Moore denies the violations and disputes the characterization of her stability. Christie Thompson, Los Angeles Times, 24 Sep. 2021

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

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First Known Use of characterization

1841, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for characterization

see character entry 1

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Time Traveler for characterization

Time Traveler

The first known use of characterization was in 1841

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Statistics for characterization

Last Updated

14 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Characterization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of characterization

: the act of describing the character or qualities of someone or something
: the way a writer makes a person in a story, book, play, movie, or television show seem like a real person


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