characteristic

[ kar-ik-tuh-ris-tik ]
/ ˌkær ɪk təˈrɪs tɪk /

adjective

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.

noun

a distinguishing feature or quality: Generosity is his chief characteristic.
Mathematics.
  1. the integral part of a common logarithm.Compare mantissa.
  2. the exponent of 10 in a number expressed in scientific notation.
  3. 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

SYNONYMS FOR characteristic

OTHER WORDS FROM characteristic

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for characteristical

British Dictionary definitions for characteristical

characteristic
/ (ˌkærɪktəˈrɪstɪk) /

noun

a distinguishing quality, attribute, or trait
maths
  1. the integral part of a common logarithm, indicating the order of magnitude of the associated numberthe characteristic of 2.4771 is 2 Compare mantissa
  2. another name for exponent, used esp in number representation in computing

adjective

indicative of a distinctive quality, etc; typical

Derived forms of characteristic

characteristically, adverb
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

Medicine definitions for characteristical

characteristic
[ kăr′ək-tə-rĭstĭk ]

n.

A distinguishing feature or attribute; character.
A structure or function determined by a gene or genes; trait.

Other words from characteristic

char′ac•ter•istic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for characteristical

characteristic
[ kăr′ək-tə-rĭstĭk ]

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.