Definition of characterize in English:


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


[with object]
  • 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.



Pronunciation: /-ˈzeɪʃ(ə)n/
More example sentences
  • There is little detail of characterization; people are described mainly in brief physical terms.
  • The vocal characterizations are a shallow mimicry of the first movie, and the plotting and characterization are poor as well.
  • These differing characterizations lead to quite different conventions.


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

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