Dictionary.com

characteristic

[ kar-ik-tuh-ris-tik ]
/ ˌkær ɪk təˈrɪs tɪk /
Save This Word!
See synonyms for: characteristic / characteristics / characteristically on Thesaurus.com

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.
QUIZ
SHALL WE PLAY A "SHALL" VS. "SHOULD" CHALLENGE?
Should you take this quiz on “shall” versus “should”? It should prove to be a quick challenge!
Question 1 of 6
Which form is used to state an obligation or duty someone has?

Origin of characteristic

First recorded in 1655–65; from Greek charaktēristikós (see character, -istic)

synonym study for characteristic

2. See feature.

OTHER WORDS FROM characteristic

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use characteristic in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for characteristic

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

Medical definitions for characteristic

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.

Scientific definitions for characteristic

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.
FEEDBACK