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
From the Greek word charaktēristikós, dating back to 1655–65. See character, -istic
Related formschar·ac·ter·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbnon·char·ac·ter·is·tic, adjectivenon·char·ac·ter·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-char·ac·ter·is·tic, adjectivequa·si-char·ac·ter·is·ti·cal·ly, adverbun·char·ac·ter·is·tic, adjectiveun·char·ac·ter·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
adjective and noun both first attested 1660s, from character + -istic on model of Greek kharakteristikos. Earlier in the adjectival sense was characteristical (1620s). Related: Characteristically (1640s). Characteristics "distinctive traits" also attested from 1660s.