View synonyms for characterize


[ kar-ik-tuh-rahyz ]

verb (used with object)

, char·ac·ter·ized, char·ac·ter·iz·ing.
  1. to mark or distinguish as a characteristic; be a characteristic of:

    Rich metaphors characterize his poetry.

  2. to describe the character or individual quality of:

    He characterized her in a few well-chosen words.

  3. to attribute character to:

    to characterize him as a coward.


/ ˈkærɪktəˌraɪz /


  1. to be a characteristic of

    loneliness characterized the place

  2. to distinguish or mark as a characteristic
  3. to describe or portray the character of

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Derived Forms

  • ˈcharacterˌizable, adjective
  • ˈcharacterˌizer, noun

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Other Words From

  • char·ac·ter·iz·a·ble adjective
  • char·ac·ter·iz·er noun
  • mis·char·ac·ter·ize verb (used with object) mischaracterized mischaracterizing
  • re·char·ac·ter·ize verb (used with object) recharacterized recharacterizing

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Word History and Origins

Origin of characterize1

First recorded in 1585–95; from Medieval Latin charactērizāre, from Greek charaktērízein; character, -ize

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Example Sentences

In fact, that definition of militias — small, armed groups of civilians fighting against the government — has characterized these kinds of movements throughout American history, Churchill told us.

A self-contained, persistent blob of turbulence constructed of well-characterized vortices offers a new world of possibilities for measurement and analysis.

However, despite the vitriol that has come to characterize the campaign, most Bay Staters see the race as a choice between two good Democrats.

Clipper will orbit Jupiter, but will conduct about 45 flybys of Europa and use a suite of instruments to characterize the surface and subsurface as much as possible.

For such a system, “its behavior is no longer characterized just by a temperature,” Bechhoefer says.

So if the people in London and New York are more real, how would you characterize Angelenos?

How would you characterize the relationship now between you and Jack?

The administration repeatedly refused to characterize the matter in terms of national security interests.

Those models have gotten more sophisticated, so they need more data in order to characterize the fuels that can be consumed.

How would you characterize the Ukrainian uprising of 2013-2014?

It is difficult to characterize the curious comPg 158bination of levity and seriousness that runs through this tale.

We shall, then, in a separate chapter, examine and endeavour to characterize the inverse process.

The vestiges of barbarism characterize the African, in his normal state.

"I haven't any time this morning," he said, speaking with a rapidity which had begun to characterize his newly awakened life.

Science must characterize the difference between those two and we pointed once before to the only fundamental difference.