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.


  1. characterize

    To characterize means to describe or define the distinctive qualities, features or traits of someone or something. It often involves analyzing and detailing the essential attributes or aspects that make up the nature or identity of a person, object or concept.

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  

Matched Categories

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. Nicholas Mercurio:

    No one would benefit from a war which extends to the space domain, with that in mind, the space situational awareness capacity of the [Joint Space Operations Center] has a deterrent aspect to it, because we are able to identify, characterize, [and] attribute actions in space.

  2. Barry Pavel:

    I guarantee you Putin will ask if we can stop NATO exercises, which he likely will characterize as provocative and expensive.

  3. Adam Schiff:

    With this latest gambit, however, the Majority seeks to selectively and misleadingly characterize classified information in an effort to protect the President at any cost.

  4. Ohio Gov. John Kasich:

    When you attack Hispanics, when you characterize all Muslims in a negative way, when you insult women, we don't think that that's good, we think, at this point in time more than any other time, we need to have America united, and we need to have an American president that's going to unite us and not divide us.

  5. Tucker Carlson:

    It was dismissive. Condescending and dismissive, those are the words I characterize in the book.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for characterize

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for characterize »


Find a translation for the characterize definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"characterize." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 1 Mar. 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/characterize>.

Discuss these characterize definitions with the community:


    Are we missing a good definition for characterize? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Browse Definitions.net


    Are you a words master?

    make more complex, intricate, or richer
    • A. condemn
    • B. refine
    • C. distinguish
    • D. carry

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for characterize: