# Characteristic definition

kărək-tə-rĭstĭk
Frequency:
A feature that helps to identify, tell apart, or describe recognizably; a distinguishing mark or trait.
noun
Characteristic is defined as a quality or trait.

An example of characteristic is intelligence.

noun
(mathematics) The integral part of a logarithm as distinguished from the mantissa.

The characteristic of the logarithm 6.3214 is 6.

noun
A distinguishing trait, feature, or quality; peculiarity.
noun
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.

(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.

noun
Being a distinguishing feature of a person or thing.
(nautical) The distinguishing features of a navigational light on a lighthouse etc by which it can be identified (colour, pattern of flashes etc)
noun
A distinguishable feature of a person or thing.
noun
(mathematics) The integer part of a logarithm.
noun
The whole number, or integral part, of a logarithm, as distinguished from the mantissa.

4 is the characteristic of the logarithm 4.7193

noun
Being a feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing; distinctive.

Heard my friend's characteristic laugh; the stripes that are characteristic of the zebra.

The part of a logarithm to the base 10 that is to the left of the decimal point. For example, if 2.749 is a logarithm, 2 is the characteristic.
Of or constituting the special character; typical; distinctive.

The characteristic odor of cabbage.

(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.
noun

Singular:
characteristic
Plural:
characteristics

## Origin of characteristic

• From Ancient Greek χαρακτηριστικός (kharaktēristikos), from χαρακτηρίζω (kharaktērizō, “to designate by a characteristic mark”), from χαρακτήρ (kharaktēr, “a mark, character”).