[ kar-ik-ter ]
/ ˈkær ɪk tər /
the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
one such feature or trait; characteristic.
moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
reputation: a stain on one's character.
an account of the qualities or peculiarities of a person or thing.
a person, especially with reference to behavior or personality: a suspicious character.
Informal. an odd, eccentric, or unusual person.
a person represented in a drama, story, etc.
a part or role, as in a play or film.
a symbol as used in a writing system, as a letter of the alphabet.
the symbols of a writing system collectively.
a significant visual mark or symbol.
status or capacity: the character of a justice of the peace.
a written statement from an employer concerning the qualities of a former employee.
Literature. (especially in 17th- and 18th-century England) a formal character sketch or descriptive analysis of a particular human virtue or vice as represented in a person or type.Compare character sketch.
Genetics. any trait, function, structure, or substance of an organism resulting from the effect of one or more genes as modified by the environment.
- any symbol, as a number, letter, punctuation mark, etc., that represents data and that, when encoded, is usable by a machine.
- one of a set of basic symbols that singly or in a series of two or more represents data and, when encoded, is usable in a computer.
a style of writing or printing.
Roman Catholic Theology. the ineffaceable imprint received on the soul through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and ordination.
(formerly) a cipher or cipher message.
- (of a part or role) representing a personality type, especially by emphasizing distinctive traits, as language, mannerisms, physical makeup, etc.
- (of an actor or actress) acting or specializing in such roles.
verb (used with object) Archaic.
to portray; describe.
to engrave; inscribe.
Words nearby character
Idioms for character
- in harmony with one's personal character or disposition: Such behavior is not in character for him.
- in accordance with the role or personality assumed in a performance: an actor in character.
- out of harmony with one's personal character or disposition: Her remarks were out of character.
- away from the role or personality assumed in a performance: The actor stepped out of character.
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
OTHER WORDS FROM characterchar·ac·ter·less, adjectiveun·char·ac·tered, adjective
synonym study for character
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. 2020
British Dictionary definitions for out of character
/ (ˈkærɪktə) /
the combination of traits and qualities distinguishing the individual nature of a person or thing
one such distinguishing quality; characteristic
moral force; integritya man of character
- reputation, esp a good reputation
- (as modifier)character assassination
a summary or account of a person's qualities and achievements; testimonialmy last employer gave me a good character
capacity, position, or statushe spoke in the character of a friend rather than a father
a person represented in a play, film, story, etc; role
an outstanding personone of the great characters of the century
informal an odd, eccentric, or unusual personhe's quite a character
an informal word for person a shady character
a symbol used in a writing system, such as a letter of the alphabet
Also called: sort printing any single letter, numeral, punctuation mark, or symbol cast as a type
computing any letter, numeral, etc, which is a unit of information and can be represented uniquely by a binary pattern
a style of writing or printing
genetics any structure, function, attribute, etc, in an organism, which may or may not be determined by a gene or group of genes
a short prose sketch of a distinctive type of person, usually representing a vice or virtue
in character typical of the apparent character of a person or thing
out of character not typical of the apparent character of a person or thing
to write, print, inscribe, or engrave
rare to portray or represent
Derived forms of charactercharacterful, 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
Medical definitions for out of character
[ kăr′ək-tər ]
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.
Scientific definitions for out of character
[ kăr′ək-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.
Cultural definitions for out of character
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 out of character (1 of 2)
out of character
see in character.
Idioms and Phrases with out of character (2 of 2)
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.