character

[ kar-ik-ter ]
/ ˈkær ɪk tər /
|||

noun

adjective

Theater.
  1. (of a part or role) representing a personality type, especially by emphasizing distinctive traits, as language, mannerisms, physical makeup, etc.
  2. (of an actor or actress) acting or specializing in such roles.

verb (used with object) Archaic.

to portray; describe.
to engrave; inscribe.

Nearby words

  1. char-grilled,
  2. char-à-banc,
  3. char.,
  4. charabanc,
  5. characin,
  6. character actor,
  7. character armour,
  8. character assassination,
  9. character code,
  10. character dance

Idioms

    in character,
    1. in harmony with one's personal character or disposition: Such behavior is not in character for him.
    2. in accordance with the role or personality assumed in a performance: an actor in character.
    out of character,
    1. out of harmony with one's personal character or disposition: Her remarks were out of character.
    2. away from the role or personality assumed in a performance: The actor stepped out of character.

Origin of character

1275–1325; < Latin < Greek charaktḗr graving tool, its mark, equivalent to charak- (base of charáttein to engrave) + -tēr agent suffix; replacing Middle English caractere < Middle French < Latin, as above

Related formschar·ac·ter·less, adjectiveun·char·ac·tered, adjective

Synonym study

1. Character, individuality, personality refer to the sum of the characteristics possessed by a person. Character refers especially to moral qualities, ethical standards, principles, and the like: a man of sterling character. Individuality refers to the distinctive qualities that make one recognizable as a person differentiated from others: a woman of strong individuality. Personality refers particularly to the combination of outer and inner characteristics that determine the impression that a person makes upon others: a child of vivid or pleasing personality. 5. See reputation.

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

Examples from the Web for characters


British Dictionary definitions for characters

character

/ (ˈkærɪktə) /

noun

verb (tr)

to write, print, inscribe, or engrave
rare to portray or represent
Derived Formscharacterful, adjectivecharacterless, adjective

Word Origin for character

C14: from Latin: distinguishing mark, from Greek kharaktēr engraver's tool, from kharassein to engrave, stamp

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 characters

character

n.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for characters

character

[ kărək-tər ]

n.

A distinguishing feature or attribute, as of an individual, group, or category.
A structure, function, or attribute determined by a gene or group of genes.
In psychoanalysis, an individual's personality or temperament.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for characters

character

[ kărək-tər ]

Genetics A structure, function, or attribute determined by a gene or a group of genes.
Computer Science A symbol, such as a letter, number, or punctuation mark, that occupies one byte of memory. See more at ASCII.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for characters

character

A person in a literary work. For example, Ebenezer Scrooge is a character in A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with characters

character

see in character; out of character.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.