\ˈtrāt, British usually ˈtrā \

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

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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

Nitrogen fixation is such a valuable trait that millions of dollars are being spent to endow crops with this ability. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Many plants need bacterial roommates to survive. So why do some kick them out?," 24 May 2018 These findings held up when considering for intelligence, health and other personality traits such as being extroverted and conscientious, the study said. Josh Magness, miamiherald, "Don't worry about being 'very unattractive' — you could be richer for it, study says | Miami Herald," 20 Apr. 2018 What are the ideal traits needed to become a good-to-producer in hip-hop? Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Big Sean on Joining Rèmy Martin's Producer Series, Kanye Making Beats Again & Why Pharrell Is 'On the Rushmore of Music'," 5 July 2018 Those are critically important traits and behaviors everyone should believe in while trying to become our best selves. Tori Telfer, Longreads, "‘I Had Nothing To Do With It But Have Been Punished’: Issac Bailey On His Brother Moochie, the Murderer," 22 June 2018 Being a beauty lover and being thrifty are not always traits that easily go hand in hand. Lindsey V Thompson, Allure, "Walmart Launches $10 Beauty Boxes Filled With Its Best-Selling Makeup and Hair Products," 27 Apr. 2018 Kali brings to life a musical message of self-reliance and trusting in yourself, which are traits that a trustworthy Taurus is often known for. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Your Summer Song, According to Your Zodiac Sign," 24 Apr. 2018 Those are traits that Nelson shares with Austin Prep senior Logan MacDonald and Dracut junior Ryley White , who are also both returning to the circle after impressive runs in 2017. Brandan Blom,, "Making a pitch for a perfect finish," 12 Apr. 2018 Those were traits that Gilbert, now 85, brought with him to the football field. Kirk Kenney,, "Claude Gilbert's success coaching Aztecs football team earns him spot in Breitbard Hall of Fame," 1 Feb. 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for trait

Last Updated

6 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trait

The first known use of trait was in 1589

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More Definitions for trait



English Language Learners Definition of trait

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


\ˈtrāt \

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

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Comments on trait

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a private place of worship

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