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[kar-ik-ter-uh-zey-shuh n, -truh-zey-] /ˌkær ɪk tər əˈzeɪ ʃən, -trəˈzeɪ-/
portrayal; description:
the actor's characterization of a politician.
the act of characterizing or describing the individual quality of a person or thing.
the creation and convincing representation of fictitious characters, as in a literary work.
Origin of characterization
1560-70; < Medieval Latin charactērizāt(us) marked (past participle of charactērizāre to characterize; see -ate1) + Latin -iōn- -ion
Related forms
recharacterization, noun
self-characterization, noun
1. representation, depiction, delineation. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for characterizations
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was as if she had flattered him by her characterizations.

    The Plunderer Roy Norton
  • The characterizations will fit well Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian.

    Historical Essays James Ford Rhodes
  • The trend of his characterizations was towards the cruelty in mankind.

    Nat Goodwin's Book Nat C. Goodwin
  • In most of these characterizations she has succeeded in making a deep impression.

    Interpreters Carl Van Vechten
  • The style is clear and vigorous, and the characterizations are extremely vivid.

    The Story of Norway Hjalmar H. Boyesen
  • With these I have no quarrel; the characterizations are synonymous.

    Arthur Machen

    Vincent Starrett
  • The characterizations are striking, but the positions are not dramatic.

  • His characterizations of Pitt and Burke are “vulgar and foul invective,” and “loathsome trash.”

British Dictionary definitions for characterizations


description of character, traits, etc
the act of characterizing
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
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Word Origin and History for characterizations



1560s, "marking out of a precise form;" see characterize + -ation. Meaning "description of essential features" is from 1814.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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