What does characterize mean?

Definitions for characterize
ˈkær ɪk təˌraɪzchar·ac·ter·ize

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word characterize.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. qualify, characterize, characteriseverb

    describe or portray the character or the qualities or peculiarities of

    "You can characterize his behavior as that of an egotist"; "This poem can be characterized as a lament for a dead lover"

  2. characterize, characteriseverb

    be characteristic of

    "What characterizes a Venetian painting?"


  1. Characterizeverb

    (Chem.) to identify the structure or nature of; as, the antibiotic activity in the sample was characterized by HPLC, and proved to be erythromycin.


  1. characterizeverb

    To depict someone or something a particular way (often negative.)

  2. characterizeverb

    To determine the characteristics of.

  3. Etymology: From characterizare, from χαρακτηρίζω, from χαρακτήρ.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To Characterizeverb

    Etymology: from character.

    It is some commendation, that we have avoided publickly to characterize any person, without long experience. Jonathan Swift.

    They may be called anticipations, prenotions, or sentiments characterized and engraven in the soul, born with it, and growing up with it. Matthew Hale, Origin of Mankind.

    There are faces not only individual, but gentilitious and national; European, Asiatick, Chinese, African, and Grecian faces are characterized. John Arbuthnot, on Air.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Characterizeverb

    to make distinct and recognizable by peculiar marks or traits; to make with distinctive features

  2. Characterizeverb

    to engrave or imprint

  3. Characterizeverb

    to indicate the character of; to describe

  4. Characterizeverb

    to be a characteristic of; to make, or express the character of

  5. Etymology: [LL. characterizare, Gr. : cf. F. charactriser.]

Editors Contribution

  1. characterize

    To express the character of.

    They did characterize the president beautifully as a loving, kind, empathetic and passionate being.

    Submitted by MaryC on April 15, 2020  

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British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'characterize' in Verbs Frequency: #949

How to pronounce characterize?

How to say characterize in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of characterize in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of characterize in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of characterize in a Sentence

  1. Former President Bill Clinton:

    I don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped up on crack and sent them out onto the streets to murder other African-American children, maybe you thought they were good citizens, she didn’t.

  2. Nick Pope:

    I think the best way to characterize MUFON is to say that its a broad church.

  3. Bill Clinton:

    I don't know how you would characterize the gang leaders who got 13-year-old kids hopped on crack and sent them out on the street to murder other African-American children, maybe you thought they were good citizens. Hillary Clinton didn't.

  4. Peter Berkowitz:

    There's something in my mind worrisome and off in declaring what the authentic conservative position is, the better way to characterize the tradition is really an unending debate between these two sides.

  5. Stephen Lawson:

    Ron DeSantis was obviously talking about Florida not making the wrong decision to embrace the socialist policies that Andrew Gillum espouses. To characterize it as anything else is absurd.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for characterize

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"characterize." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 22 Mar. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/characterize>.

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    out of condition; not strong or robust; incapable of exertion or endurance
    • A. usurious
    • B. flabby
    • C. tantamount
    • D. repugnant

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