Definitions for characteristicˌkær ɪk təˈrɪs tɪk

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word characteristic

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

char•ac•ter•is•tic*ˌkær ɪk təˈrɪs tɪk(adj.)

  1. indicating the character or distinctive quality of a person or thing; typical.

  2. (n.)a distinguishing feature or quality.

  3. the integral part of a common logarithm. the exponent of 10 in a number expressed in scientific notation.

    Category: Math

* Syn: See feature.

Origin of characteristic:

1655–65; < Gk


Princeton's WordNet

  1. feature, characteristic(noun)

    a prominent attribute or aspect of something

    "the map showed roads and other features"; "generosity is one of his best characteristics"

  2. characteristic(noun)

    a distinguishing quality

  3. characteristic(noun)

    the integer part (positive or negative) of the representation of a logarithm; in the expression log 643 = 2.808 the characteristic is 2

  4. characteristic, device characteristic(adj)

    any measurable property of a device measured under closely specified conditions

  5. characteristic(adj)

    typical or distinctive

    "heard my friend's characteristic laugh"; "red and gold are the characteristic colors of autumn"; "stripes characteristic of the zebra"

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. characteristic(adjective)ˌkær ɪk təˈrɪs tɪk


    symptoms characteristic of this illness; with his characteristic charm

  2. characteristic(noun)ˌkær ɪk təˈrɪs tɪk

    a typical feature

    the main characteristics of a successful business; leadership characteristics


  1. characteristic(Noun)

    a distinguishable feature of a person or thing

  2. characteristic(Noun)

    the integer part of a logarithm

  3. characteristic(Noun)

    the distinguishing features of a navigational light on a lighthouse etc by which it can be identified (colour, pattern of flashes etc)

  4. characteristic(Noun)

    The minimum number of times that the unit of a field must be added unto itself in order to yield that field's zero, or, if that minimum natural number does not exist, then (the integer) zero.

  5. characteristic(Adjective)

    being a distinguishing feature of a person or thing

  6. Origin: From χαρακτηριστικός, from χαρακτηρίζω, from χαρακτήρ.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Characteristic(adj)

    pertaining to, or serving to constitute, the character; showing the character, or distinctive qualities or traits, of a person or thing; peculiar; distinctive

  2. Characteristic(noun)

    a distinguishing trait, quality, or property; an element of character; that which characterized

  3. Characteristic(noun)

    the integral part (whether positive or negative) of a logarithm


  1. Characteristic

    In mathematics, the characteristic of a ring R, often denoted char, is defined to be the smallest number of times one must use the ring's multiplicative identity element in a sum to get the additive identity element; the ring is said to have characteristic zero if this repeated sum never reaches the additive identity. That is, char is the smallest positive number n such that if such a number n exists, and 0 otherwise. The characteristic may also be taken to be the exponent of the ring's additive group, that is, the smallest positive n such that for every element a of the ring. Some authors do not include the multiplicative identity element in their requirements for a ring, and this definition is suitable for that convention; otherwise the two definitions are equivalent due to the distributive law in rings.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'characteristic' in Nouns Frequency: #904

  2. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'characteristic' in Adjectives Frequency: #691

Translations for characteristic

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


(negative uncharacteristic ) typical (of a person etc)

He spoke with characteristic shyness; That kind of behaviour is characteristic of him.

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