- Also char·ac·ter·is·ti·cal. pertaining to, constituting, or indicating the character or peculiar quality of a person or thing; typical; distinctive: Red and gold are the characteristic colors of autumn.
- a distinguishing feature or quality: Generosity is his chief characteristic.
- the integral part of a common logarithm.Compare mantissa.
- the exponent of 10 in a number expressed in scientific notation.
- the smallest positive integer n such that each element of a given ring added to itself n times results in 0.
Origin of characteristic
SynonymsSee more synonyms for characteristic on Thesaurus.com
1. special, peculiar. 2. attribute, property, trait. See feature.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for characteristical
The style, and even the penmanship, were distinct and characteristical.Ormond, Volume I (of 3)
Charles Brockden Brown
Nor is the book devoid of notices of many other circumstances which were characteristical of the time.Diary of John Manningham
A popular origin cannot therefore be the characteristical distinction of a popular representative.Thoughts on the Present Discontents
But the difference of their tempers made the characteristical distinction between them.The Man of Feeling
Of this, besides the general tenor of his conduct in society, some characteristical instances may be mentioned.Life of Johnson
- a distinguishing quality, attribute, or trait
- the integral part of a common logarithm, indicating the order of magnitude of the associated numberthe characteristic of 2.4771 is 2 Compare mantissa
- another name for exponent, used esp in number representation in computing
- indicative of a distinctive quality, etc; typical
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
Word Origin and History for characteristical
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- A distinguishing feature or attribute; character.
- A structure or function determined by a gene or genes; trait.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- The part of a logarithm to the base 10 that is to the left of the decimal point. For example, if 2.749 is a logarithm, 2 is the characteristic. Compare mantissa.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.