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

Example Sentences

This dog breed has a number of desirable traits. honesty is one of her defining traits
Recent Examples on the Web Palmar grasp reflex, a grasping reflex seen in unborn children and newborns, possibly an evolutionary trait intended to help infants cling to their mothers. Scott Lafee, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Oct. 2022 The new characters, meanwhile, aren’t just new—they’re deeply ordinary, an unusual trait for Star Wars protagonists. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 6 Sep. 2022 The nervous energy around being associated with a union—which is largely seen as an American trait—permeated the Leipzig plant, even at the strike gathering, where multiple people were eager to speak but declined to give their names. Allie Gross, The New Republic, 25 Aug. 2022 In a pair of studies, researchers found that children who view prejudice as an immutable trait were less likely to interact with cross-race peers. Stephanie H. Murray, The Week, 9 Aug. 2022 Therefore, evangelism should be an inherent character trait among security professionals. Altaz Valani, Forbes, 17 June 2022 An important shared trait among these worlds, however, is their mere existence: six of the eight major planets of our solar system have moons. Jonathan O'callaghan, Scientific American, 13 Jan. 2022 Thursday night’s rock fight at the feet of the Rocky Mountains gave Pierce a chance to put another trait on display. The Indianapolis Star, 11 Oct. 2022 As for Saturday’s game, another Cleveland trait was on display – perseverance. Terry Pluto, cleveland, 9 Oct. 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.

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 27 Nov. 2022.

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

Medical Definition

trait

noun

ˈtrāt, British usually ˈtrā
: an inherited characteristic

More from Merriam-Webster on trait

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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