characterize[kar′ək tər īz′, kar′ik-]
- To characterize is to describe something by its distinctive and unique features.
- An example of to characterize is viewing religious devotion as a trait that characterizes a priest.
- An example of a situation where you characterize the author is when you describe an author's work as sentimental.
transitive verbcharacterized, characterizing
- to describe or portray the particular qualities, features, or traits of
- to be the distinctive character of; distinguish: a miser is characterized by greed
Origin of characterizeMedieval Latin characterizare ; from Classical Greek charaktērizein: see character
transitive verbcharacter·ized, character·iz·ing, character·iz·es
- To describe the qualities or peculiarities of: characterized the warden as ruthless.
- To be a distinctive trait or mark of; distinguish: the rash and high fever that characterize this disease; a region that is characterized by its dikes and canals.
(third-person singular simple present characterizes, present participle characterizing, simple past and past participle characterized)
- to depict someone or something a particular way (often negative)
- to determine the characteristics of
From Medieval Latin characterizare, from Ancient Greek χαρακτηρίζω (kharaktērizō, “to designate by a characteristic mark”), from χαρακτήρ (kharaktēr, “a mark, character”). Synchronically analyzable as character + -ize.