Share this entry

characterize Line breaks: char|ac¦ter|ize
Pronunciation: /ˈkarəktərʌɪz/
(also characterise)

Definition of characterize in English:

verb

[with object]
1Describe the distinctive nature or features of: she characterized the period as the decade of revolution
More example sentences
  • It's just not accurate to characterize newspaper design as anything but dynamic.
  • How could we characterise the nature of conflicts that have emerged throughout the world?
  • Some historians characterize Du Bois's thinking as riddled with contradiction.
Synonyms
distinguish, make distinctive, mark, set apart, identify, specify, signalize, indicate, denote, designate, stamp;
typify, pervade, permeate, suffuse
categorize, class, classify, style, brand
2(Of a feature or quality) be typical or characteristic of: the disease is characterized by weakening of the immune system
More example sentences
  • Australian media organizations do not seem to have been characterized by enlightened personnel practices.
  • A predilection for forms over human figures characterises her work in installation art.
  • It was a social relationship characterized by an unequal distribution of power and resources.

Origin

Late 16th century (in the sense 'engrave, inscribe'): from French caractériser or medieval Latin characterizare, from Greek kharaktērizein, from kharaktēr 'a stamping tool'.

Definition of characterize in:

Share this entry

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day doofus
Pronunciation: ˈdo͞ofəs
noun
a stupid person