\ 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

And, mixed breed cats may have some of these breed traits. Cathy M. Rosenthal,, "Pet World: Cats With The Gift Of Gab Can Drive Their Owners Crazy," 31 May 2018 China’s green light to bring these biotech traits to market will be a milestone for agricultural innovation. James C. Collins Jr., WSJ, "China Opens the Door to U.S. GMOs," 24 Jan. 2019 What are the habits and traits that make Gen Z uniquely them? Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "How Gen Z and Millennials Are Totally Different," 17 Jan. 2019 The complaints allege copyright infringement and violations of the right of publicity — the personal rights that govern how an individual can control and profit off the use of their own likeness, name, and other identifiable traits. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Fortnite keeps stealing dances — and no one knows if it’s illegal," 20 Dec. 2018 And the model’s predictions of risk are stable because they’re based on biological traits that aren’t likely to change anytime soon. Mallory Locklear, Discover Magazine, "With Big Data and Predictive Analytics, Scientists Are Getting Smarter About Outbreaks," 8 Nov. 2018 One trait especially stood out: Kentae loved water. Joshua Sharpe, ajc, "Attorney: DeKalb man had ‘void,’ adopted 10-year-old – then killed him," 10 July 2018 But one trait Charbonnet shares with both is his potential in the passing game. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football getting 'thunder and lightning' with running backs," 8 July 2018 Or would my blonde hair and blue eyes have snuck through some unknown recessive traits of his? Jackie Bryant, Harper's BAZAAR, "Saying Goodbye to Your Future, Along with Your Marriage," 4 Sep. 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

13 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trait

The first known use of trait was in 1589

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English Language Learners Definition of trait

formal : 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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More from Merriam-Webster on trait

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trait

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trait

Spanish Central: Translation of trait

Nglish: Translation of trait for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on trait

What made you want to look up trait? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deny responsibility for

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