characterize

verb
char·​ac·​ter·​ize | \ ˈker-ik-tə-ˌrīz How to pronounce characterize (audio) , ˈka-rik-\
characterized; characterizing

Definition of characterize

transitive verb

1 : to describe the character (see character entry 1 sense 1a) or quality of characterizes him as ambitious
2 : to be a characteristic of : distinguish an era characterized by greed

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Examples of characterize in a Sentence

How would you characterize the situation? I would characterize this as a positive change for our company. She had difficulty characterizing their relationship. His personality is hard to characterize. Farms and large flat fields characterize most of the area. the beliefs that characterized Europe in the 15th century
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Recent Examples on the Web

These are the kinds of stories that resonate, characterized by responses to trauma that ring acutely true. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "The Empty Empowerment of The Handmaid’s Tale," 5 June 2019 With help from her older brother, the Californian creates disaffected pop characterized by odd electronic effects, whispery vocals, unstable beats and insinuating lyrics. kansascity, "KC concerts June 6-12: Luis Miguel, Billie Eilish, Sublime with Rome, Snarky Puppy," 4 June 2019 Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder characterized by significant shifts in mood and energy levels, according to the NIMH. Carolyn Kylstra, SELF, "Mental Health Awareness Means Talking About All Types of Mental Illness," 29 Mar. 2019 Lady Gaga has also been vocal about her fight with fibromyalgia, a chronic illness characterized by severe muscle pain and fatigue. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Game of Thrones’s Emilia Clarke Speaks Out About Surviving Two Brain Aneurysms," 21 Mar. 2019 Away from the London hordes in a small alley in Covent Garden, Neal’s Yard is a dramatic departure in a city most often characterized by the color gray. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 25 most colorful cities in the world," 19 Feb. 2019 Maybe next year voters will expand their recognition for a series (Kristen Bell is pretty great too!) characterized by intelligent optimism and decency. Glenn Whipp, latimes.com, "Emmy snubs and surprises: New faces are in, old institutions are out and Sandra Oh makes history," 12 July 2018 Tests revealed Adam’s issues were due to dyslexia, a learning disability that’s neurological in origin and characterized by difficulty decoding words. David Haugh, chicagotribune.com, "'It never got in the way of his hockey:' Blackhawks pick Adam Boqvist ready for anything after dealing with dyslexia," 6 July 2018 Alameda County public health officials say this increase could indicate another epidemic year for the highly contagious respiratory disease characterized by severe coughing. Erin Stone, San Francisco Chronicle, "Whooping cough cases on the rise in Alameda County," 14 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'characterize.' 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 characterize

circa 1602, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for characterize

see character entry 1

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Statistics for characterize

Last Updated

11 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for characterize

The first known use of characterize was circa 1602

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More Definitions for characterize

characterize

verb

English Language Learners Definition of characterize

somewhat formal
: to describe the character or special qualities of (someone or something)
: to be a typical feature or quality of (someone or something)

characterize

verb
char·​ac·​ter·​ize | \ ˈker-ək-tə-ˌrīz How to pronounce characterize (audio) \
characterized; characterizing

Kids Definition of characterize

1 : to describe the special qualities of I would characterize this as a positive change.
2 : to be a typical or distinguishing quality of Mystery and intrigue characterize this story.

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Comments on characterize

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