characteristic[kar′ək tər is′tik, kar′ik-]
- The definition of characteristic is a distinguishing feature of a person or thing.
An example of characteristic is the high levels of intelligence of a valedictorian.
- Characteristic is defined as a quality or trait.
An example of characteristic is intelligence.
Origin of characteristicClassical Greek charaktēristikos: see character
- a distinguishing trait, feature, or quality; peculiarity
- the whole number, or integral part, of a logarithm, as distinguished from the mantissa: 4 is the characteristic of the logarithm 4.7193
- A feature that helps to identify, tell apart, or describe recognizably; a distinguishing mark or trait.
- Mathematics The integral part of a logarithm as distinguished from the mantissa: The characteristic of the logarithm 6.3214 is 6.
- Mathematics The least number of times the multiplicative identity in a ring needs to be added to itself to reach the additive identity, or, if the additive identity is never reached, zero. The integers have a characteristic of zero; the integers modulo 12 have a characteristic of 12.
(comparative more characteristic, superlative most characteristic)
- a distinguishable feature of a person or thing
- (mathematics) the integer part of a logarithm
- (nautical) the distinguishing features of a navigational light on a lighthouse etc by which it can be identified (colour, pattern of flashes etc)
- (algebra, field theory) 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.
- A field's characteristic, if non-trivial, must be prime, otherwise the field would not be an integral domain, which fields must be. For example, if a field's characteristic were six, then (1+1)+(1+1)+(1+1) = 0; if 1+1 were labeled A and 1+1+1 were labeled B, then A + A + A = 0, A (1 + 1 + 1) = 0 by distributivity; A B = 0, and the field could not be an integral domain.
From Ancient Greek χαρακτηριστικός (kharaktēristikos), from χαρακτηρίζω (kharaktērizō, “to designate by a characteristic mark”), from χαρακτήρ (kharaktēr, “a mark, character”).
characteristic - Computer Definition
In logarithms and floating point, the number that indicates where the decimal point is placed.