[ kar-ik-ter ]
/ ˈkær ɪk tər /



  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.

Idioms for character

    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

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.


char·ac·ter·less, adjective un·char·ac·tered, adjective

Example sentences from the Web for character

British Dictionary definitions for character

/ (ˈkærɪktə) /


verb (tr)

to write, print, inscribe, or engrave
rare to portray or represent

Derived forms of character

characterful, adjective characterless, adjective

Word Origin for character

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

Medical definitions for character

[ kărək-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.

Scientific definitions for 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.

Cultural definitions for character


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

Idioms and Phrases with character


see in character; out of character.