Try Our Apps


World Series Quiz


[kar-ik-tuh-rahyz] /ˈkær ɪk təˌraɪz/
verb (used with object), characterized, characterizing.
to mark or distinguish as a characteristic; be a characteristic of:
Rich metaphors characterize his poetry.
to describe the character or individual quality of:
He characterized her in a few well-chosen words.
to attribute character to:
to characterize him as a coward.
Also, especially British, characterise.
Origin of characterize
1585-95; < Medieval Latin charactērizāre < Greek charaktērízein. See character, -ize
Related forms
characterizable, adjective
characterizer, noun
mischaracterize, verb (used with object), mischaracterized, mischaracterizing.
noncharacterized, adjective
recharacterize, verb (used with object), recharacterized, recharacterizing.
uncharacterized, adjective
well-characterized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for characterised
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • In this case also he is characterised by the same mode of thought as Irenæus.

  • They are characterised by the disproportionately large beak.

  • His poetry is characterised by lofty ethical tone, imaginative power, and grave stateliness of expression.

  • There was no deeper mystery than that in the “ease” with which we have characterised her “circumstances.”

    The Lifeboat R.M. Ballantyne
  • The processes of his mind are characterised by continuity, consistency, and a kind of gathering intensity of movement.

    The Roman Poets of the Republic William Young Sellar
  • It is characterised by the development of the drumless dome on pendentives.

    Byzantine Churches in Constantinople Alexander Van Millingen
  • Few funerals have been characterised by greater impressiveness.

    The Hero of the Humber Henry Woodcock
  • The ceremonies were all characterised by a belief in some future state.

    Things as They Are Amy Wilson-Carmichael
  • A physical certainty bears uniformly the name of certainty, while a moral certainty is characterised as a probability.

    A Logic Of Facts George Jacob Holyoake
British Dictionary definitions for characterised


verb (transitive)
to be a characteristic of: loneliness characterized the place
to distinguish or mark as a characteristic
to describe or portray the character of
Derived Forms
characterizable, characterisable, adjective
characterizer, characteriser, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for characterised



1590s, "to engrave, write," back-formation from characterization, or else from Medieval Latin characterizare, from Greek kharakterizein "to designate by a characteristic mark," from kharakter (see character). Meaning "to describe the qualities of" is recorded from 1630s; that of "to be characteristic" is from 1744. Related: Characterized; characterizing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for characterize

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for characterised

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for characterised