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 The stories are short so people are characterized in these broad strokes. Jonny Auping, Longreads, "‘Victims Become This Object of Fascination… This Silent Symbol.’," 23 Aug. 2019 Autism is not some monstrous fate When it isn’t being caricatured in shows largely produced by and for non-autistic people, like The Good Doctor and The Big Bang Theory, autism is often characterized as a horrible way to live. Sarah Kurchak, Vox, "Fake autism treatments show the lengths parents will go to “cure” their kids," 13 Aug. 2019 According to Adler, the youngest children are ambitious, while middle children are optimally positioned in the family and are characterized by emotional stability. Corinna Hartmann, Scientific American, "Does Birth Order Affect Personality?," 8 Aug. 2019 The Democratic presidential aspirants received the injurious compliment of being taken seriously in their aspirations, which are characterized by a disqualifying flippancy. George Will, National Review, "The Democrats and the 1919 World Series," 1 Aug. 2019 Big-name players have popped up in the rumor mill, but the month so far has been characterized by inaction and denial (again, save for Van Wagenen, who’s currently in the process of telling you to hold his beer and watch this). Jon Tayler, SI.com, "The Approach to MLB's Trade Deadline Has Been Boring. Sound Familiar?," 30 July 2019 No surprise here: the way it has been characterized in the media is false. Dallas News, "Sitting in jail, 'Doc' Gallagher, accused of stealing $30 million, writes a letter deflecting blame," 26 July 2019 These shows are characterized by swooping aerial images of vast woodlands, after which the camera, pursued by strings, drums or an increasingly agitated bassoon, burrows down to find some spooking, singular image. Mary Mcnamara, latimes.com, "Finished Netflix’s ‘Dark.’ What’s the German word for ‘pissed’?," 12 July 2019 Omar Wesley was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, which is characterized by hallucinations and delusions, among other symptoms. Sydney Czyzon, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mental health advocate sues county, says it failed to provide mental illness medication to her son in jail," 3 July 2019

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

29 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for characterize

The first known use of characterize was circa 1602

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More Definitions for characterize

characterize

verb
How to pronounce characterize (audio)

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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