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

However, such casting also comes off as primarily a gimmick that at times alters characterizations., "Wittiness and romance make ‘Much Ado’ quite something at Tulane Shakespeare Fest," 19 June 2019 No matter how good the game looks or feels in its preview state, one wrong turn in terms of plot or characterization could tank a classic game with as much fan-interest baggage as FFVII. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Final Fantasy VII Remake hands-on: Already feels like the one for jaded JRPG fans," 15 June 2019 Like many policy issues when seen up close, the question of what to do with Fannie and Freddie defies easy characterization or solutions. Michael Taylor,, "Rebuilding the Fanny-Freddie Frankenstein," 14 June 2019 The mayor’s characterization baffled Colleen Fanning, a Republican on the City-County Council who represents Broad Ripple. Ryan Martin, Indianapolis Star, "Mayor Joe Hogsett says he's fixed 2,500 blighted homes. Does this look 'transformed'?," 11 June 2019 The report’s uninflected narrative—not an adjective or characterization in sight—actually serves to heighten the drama inherent in this scene. Linda Greenhouse, The New York Review of Books, "The Impeachment Question," 30 May 2019 Despite strong performances from all three actors, the banality of the premise, the sketchiness of the characterizations, and the predictability of the resolution detract from the impact of what should be a heart-pounding thriller. Judy Berman, Time, "Black Mirror Used to Be a Terrifying Vision of the Future. Season 5 Is Just Silly," 5 June 2019 The Spore drive, much like poor characterization, is one of the lingering curses from Season One. Darren Orf, Popular Mechanics, "'Star Trek: Discovery' Gets Back to Basics," 25 Jan. 2019 Sawant’s characterization of the contract, but would not elaborate. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "With contract talks still stalled, Seattle EMTs set strike deadline of Dec. 21," 11 Dec. 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

24 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

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).


to take the place or position of

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