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Definition of character


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char·ac·ter  audio  (krk-tr) KEY 

NOUN:
  1. The combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one person, group, or thing from another. See Synonyms at disposition.
  2. A distinguishing feature or attribute, as of an individual, group, or category. See Synonyms at quality.
  3. Genetics A structure, function, or attribute determined by a gene or group of genes.
  4. Moral or ethical strength.
  5. A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.
  6. A formal written statement as to competency and dependability, given by an employer to a former employee; a recommendation.
  7. Public estimation of someone; reputation: personal attacks that damaged her character.
  8. Status or role; capacity: in his character as the father.
    1. A notable or well-known person; a personage.
    2. A person, especially one who is peculiar or eccentric: a shady character; catcalls from some character in the back row.
    1. A person portrayed in an artistic piece, such as a drama or novel.
    2. Characterization in fiction or drama: a script that is weak in plot but strong in character.
  9. A mark or symbol used in a writing system.
  10. Computer Science
    1. One of a set of symbols, such as letters or numbers, that are arranged to express information.
    2. The numerical code representing such a character.
  11. A style of printing or writing.
  12. A symbol used in secret writing; a cipher or code.
ADJECTIVE:
  1. Of or relating to one's character.
    1. Specializing in the interpretation of often minor roles that emphasize fixed personality traits or specific physical characteristics: a character actor.
    2. Of or relating to the interpretation of such roles by an actor: the character part of the hero's devoted mother.
  2. Dedicated to the portrayal of a person with regard to distinguishing psychological or physical features: a character sketch.
  3. Law Of or relating to a person who gives testimony as to the moral and ethical reputation or behavior of one engaged in a lawsuit: a character witness.
TRANSITIVE VERB:
Archaic charac·tered, charac·ter·ing, charac·ters
  1. To write, print, engrave, or inscribe.
  2. To portray or describe.

IDIOMS:
in character
Consistent with someone's general character or behavior: behavior that was totally in character.
out of character
Inconsistent with someone's general character or behavior: a response so much out of character that it amazed me.

ETYMOLOGY:
Middle English carecter, distinctive mark, imprint on the soul, from Old French caractere, from Latin charactr, from Greek kharaktr, from kharassein, to inscribe, from kharax, kharak-, pointed stick

OTHER FORMS:
charac·ter·less(Adjective)


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