[kar-ik-ter-uh-zey-shuhn, -truh-zey-]


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 formsre·char·ac·ter·i·za·tion, nounself-char·ac·ter·i·za·tion, noun

Synonyms for characterization Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for characterization

Contemporary Examples of characterization

Historical Examples of characterization

  • His red slave's wig is thus made a feature in the characterization.

    The Dramatic Values in Plautus

    Wilton Wallace Blancke

  • The characterization of Othello in the rest of this scene is anything but happy.

  • The very power of the characterization makes the traitress hateful.

  • His puppets no longer interest him; he is careless of characterization.

  • This characterization is perhaps extreme, but the danger to which it refers is all too frequent.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

British Dictionary definitions for characterization




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

Word Origin and History for characterization

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper