\ ˈtrāt How to pronounce trait (audio) , British usually ˈtrā How to pronounce trait (audio) \

Definition of trait

1a : a distinguishing quality (as of personal character) curiosity is one of her notable traits
b : an inherited characteristic
2a : a stroke of or as if of a pencil
b : touch, trace

Examples of trait in a Sentence

This dog breed has a number of desirable traits. honesty is one of her defining traits
Recent Examples on the Web Hilariously, Bethesda revealed one trait that makes players stronger... Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, 12 June 2022 But the two of them undoubtedly share one trait: wanton shamelessness. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 7 June 2022 Gretzky does see one common trait among the greats: the unquenchable drive to be better. Los Angeles Times, 1 June 2022 On this episode: This week, the fellas take a tour through the Detroit Pistons roster and pick out one trait each key player should improve this offseason. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, 3 May 2022 That one trait has guided his two years in Columbus. Stephen Means, cleveland, 13 Apr. 2022 One trait that has served Mr. Burrow well on the football field has betrayed him on the chessboard. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, 11 Feb. 2022 One such trait is the form of an opening on the tongue side of the lower jaw (mandible) called the mandibular foramen. David W. Frayer, Scientific American, 1 Feb. 2022 One trait connects many American men who go on shooting sprees: a history of hating women. The Week Staff, The Week, 23 Jan. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of trait

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for trait

Middle French, literally, act of drawing, from Latin tractus — more at tract

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Last Updated

2 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Trait.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for trait


\ ˈtrāt How to pronounce trait (audio) \

Kids Definition of trait

: a quality that makes one person, animal, or thing different from another


\ ˈtrāt, British usually ˈtrā \

Medical Definition of trait

: an inherited characteristic

More from Merriam-Webster on trait

Nglish: Translation of trait for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trait for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about trait


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