trait

noun

ˈtrāt How to pronounce trait (audio)
British usually
ˈtrā How to pronounce trait (audio)
1
a
: a distinguishing quality (as of personal character)
curiosity is one of her notable traits
b
: an inherited characteristic
2
a
: a stroke of or as if of a pencil
b

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 Authenticity supersedes any personality trait, even the most controversial. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 23 Feb. 2024 Separating the snakes from lizards Many groups of non-snake lizards have independently evolved some snake-like traits. Popular Science, 22 Feb. 2024 His skills as a connector, team defender and pace-booster aren’t traits that ebb and flow like hot shooting does. Danny Emerman, The Mercury News, 21 Feb. 2024 The thief got away with his founding albino male as well as females that were heterozygous for the trait. Rebecca Giggs, The New Yorker, 19 Feb. 2024 One of their biggest traits, though, is their empathy. Katie Mannion, Peoplemag, 18 Feb. 2024 Combining his extremely rare athletic traits with defensive line coach Kris Kocurek’s guidance could create a nightmare for the rest of the league. Eddie Brown, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Feb. 2024 The process culminates with the AI system telling you your Big 5 personality traits. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 17 Feb. 2024 Consistency Consistency is a key trait in ethical leaders, especially as relates to communication. Rachel Wells, Forbes, 15 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'trait.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

Time Traveler
The first known use of trait was in 1589

Dictionary Entries Near trait

Cite this Entry

“Trait.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/trait. Accessed 3 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition

trait

noun
1
: a quality that sets one person or thing off from another : peculiarity sense 2
curiosity is one of her notable traits
2
: an inherited characteristic
dominant and recessive traits
Etymology

from early French trait "the act of pulling," from Latin tractus, past participle of trahere "to pull, drag" — related to trace entry 1, trace entry 3

Medical Definition

trait

noun
ˈtrāt, British usually ˈtrā
: an inherited characteristic

More from Merriam-Webster on trait

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