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

This contradicting characterization of strong Latinx women has become the norm in Hollywood, but the imagery was inspired by something entirely different: Las Soldaderas, the female soldiers who made the Mexican Revolution possible. Teen Vogue, "The Real History of Las Soldaderas, the Women Who Made the Mexican Revolution Possible," 12 Mar. 2019 Hand ID takes advantage of the camera’s infrared sensor to read the absorption characterization of hemoglobin in the veins of your hand. Michael Simon, PCWorld, "LG G8 hands-on: Could the future of smartphones be in the palm of my hand?," 24 Feb. 2019 In an email to Ars on Thursday, Unsworth's lead counsel, L. Lin Wood, rejected Musk's attorneys' characterization of the situation. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Musk lawyers move to dismiss cave explorer lawsuit over “pedo guy” tweets," 27 Dec. 2018 As this passage makes clear, Miller has determined, in her characterization of this most powerful witch, to bring her as close as possible to the human — from the timbre of her voice to her intense maternal instincts. Claire Messud, New York Times, "Turning Circe Into a Good Witch," 28 May 2018 Director Taylor brings just the right tongue-in-cheek touch to it all, but also manages to find within this trifle of a piece a depth in the characterizations that adds a welcome, if quite unexpected, emotional impact. Theodore P. Mahne,, "JPAS premieres 'Catch Me If You Can,' a criminally enjoyable hit," 17 Apr. 2018 And, rather than run from that characterization or try to create some healthy distance between himself and the wildly unpredictable President, Pence sprinted toward Trump and laid a massive bear hug on him. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "George Will just exposed Mike Pence's Faustian bargain," 10 May 2018 In reviewing veteran status, the VA starts by looking at discharge characterizations. Rose Carmen Goldberg, WSJ, "He Has a Purple Heart, but the VA Wouldn’t Call Him a Veteran," 12 Feb. 2019 This post has been updated to remove those characterizations. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "When a network intel provider’s domain serves fraudulent content, something is wrong," 15 Nov. 2018

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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Statistics for characterization

Last Updated

18 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for characterization

The first known use of characterization was in 1841

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More Definitions for characterization



English Language Learners Definition of characterization

somewhat formal : 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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Comments on characterization

What made you want to look up characterization? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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