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Characteristic Definition and Meaning

By Maham Liaqat & Fiza Rafique — Updated on March 5, 2024
A characteristic is a distinguishing feature or quality of something or someone. e.g., Her patience is a key characteristic that makes her a great teacher.

Characteristic Definitions

An inherent or defining feature that is easily recognized.
The characteristic blue of the ocean is calming.
A property that signifies an essential aspect of something.
The characteristic flexibility of the software makes it user-friendly.
A trait that defines or identifies something.
Bright colors are a characteristic of tropical birds.
An inherent feature that typifies an individual or thing.
Resilience is a characteristic important for survival.
A distinguishing element that sets someone or something apart.
The characteristic sharpness of her wit set her apart from her peers.
A descriptive aspect that identifies or differentiates.
The characteristic tone of the violin can evoke deep emotions.
An attribute that is often associated with a particular entity.
The characteristic warmth of the community made everyone feel welcome.
A quality that is typical of a particular group, category, or place.
The characteristic architecture of the city is known worldwide.
A specific quality making something or someone distinct.
The characteristic smell of baking bread filled the house.
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.
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.
Being a distinguishing feature of a person or thing.
A distinguishing 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.).
For a given field or ring, a natural number that is either the smallest positive number n such that n instances of the multiplicative identity (1) summed together yield the additive identity (0) or, if no such number exists, the number 0.
The characteristic of a field, if non-zero, must be a prime number.
Pertaining to, or serving to constitute, the character; showing the character, or distinctive qualities or traits, of a person or thing; peculiar; distinctive.
Characteristic clearness of temper.
A distinguishing trait, quality, or property; an element of character; that which characterized.
The characteristics of a true critic.
A distinguishing quality
The integer part (positive or negative) of the representation of a logarithm; in the expression log 643 = 2.808 the characteristic is 2
Any measurable property of a device measured under closely specified conditions
A feature that is representative of a person or thing.
His characteristic grin was unmistakable.

Characteristic Snonyms


A distinguishing quality or characteristic, typically one belonging to a person.
Honesty is one of his best traits.


A distinctive attribute or characteristic possessed by someone or something.
The quality of mercy is not strained.


A quality or feature regarded as a part or inherent part of someone or something.
Creativity is an important attribute for a designer.


A quality or trait belonging and especially peculiar to an individual or thing.
One of the basic properties of metals is conductivity.


A distinctive attribute or aspect of something.
The phone's most notable feature is its camera.


A distinctive feature or quality.
His sense of humor is his peculiarity.


A distinctive feature, especially one of excellence.
Originality is the hallmark of a good writer.


A distinguishing trait or quality.
His kindness is the mark of a true gentleman.


A mode of behavior or way of thought peculiar to an individual.
One of her idiosyncrasies is always wearing black.


The quality of being individual or easily distinguished from others.
The distinctiveness of her voice made her a great singer.

Characteristic Idioms & Phrases

Lack characteristic

Not to have a typical feature or quality that is expected.
The play lacked the characteristic depth usually found in her writing.

Have the characteristic of

To possess a feature that is typical or representative.
This species has the characteristic of changing color in different environments.

Characteristic quality

An inherent or distinguishing attribute.
Kindness is a characteristic quality of her personality.

Show characteristic

To exhibit or display a typical feature or quality.
The samples show characteristic signs of chemical exposure.

Characteristic feature

A prominent or distinctive quality or attribute.
The characteristic feature of the building is its modern design.

Characteristic of someone/something

Typical or usual for a particular person, group, or thing.
The use of bright colors is characteristic of his painting style.

Characteristic style

A manner of expression or execution that is typical of a person or group.
The author's characteristic style is marked by her use of vivid imagery.

Characteristic behavior

Typical or expected actions of a person or animal.
The characteristic behavior of this bird species is to migrate in winter.

Characteristic sign

An indication or symptom that is typical of a condition or situation.
A fever is a characteristic sign of infection.

Characteristic value

A specific, defining measurement or quality.
The characteristic value of this material is its high thermal conductivity.

Characteristic difference

A distinguishing factor that sets entities apart.
The characteristic difference between the two models is their engine size.

Without characteristic

Lacking a distinguishing feature or quality.
The landscape was dull, without characteristic features to define it.

In characteristic fashion

In a way that is typical or expected of someone.
She, in characteristic fashion, arrived with a grand entrance.

Characteristic sound

A noise that is typical or identifying of something.
The characteristic sound of the engine helps mechanics diagnose problems.

Characteristic curve

A graphical representation that shows typical behavior or properties.
The characteristic curve of the diode is important for understanding its performance.

Characteristic pattern

A typical or habitual form or model.
The characteristic pattern of the fabric is unique to this region.

Characteristic temperament

The usual mood or disposition of a person or animal.
The dog's characteristic temperament is gentle and friendly.

Characteristic equation

A mathematical equation that defines essential aspects of a system or process.
Solving the characteristic equation provides the eigenvalues of the matrix.

Characteristic function

A function that indicates the presence of a particular property or condition.
The characteristic function is used in probability theory to describe distributions.

Characteristic energy

The typical vigor or intensity someone or something displays.
He approached every challenge with his characteristic energy.

Characteristic Example Sentences

The car has several characteristic features that set it apart.
The song's characteristic rhythm got everyone on the dance floor.
The characteristic landscape of the desert includes vast sand dunes.
His characteristic approach to problems is to tackle them head-on.
She has a characteristic way of smiling when she's amused.
The characteristic silence of the forest was broken by birdsong.
The characteristic sound of the piano fills the concert hall.
One characteristic trait of leaders is the ability to inspire others.
The characteristic taste of cinnamon makes it popular in many dishes.
The characteristic colors of autumn are orange, red, and yellow.
This plant has the characteristic ability to thrive in harsh conditions.
Their characteristic generosity is well known in the community.
The characteristic texture of silk is smooth and luxurious.
A characteristic challenge of this project is its tight deadline.
The characteristic humor in his books makes them enjoyable to read.

Common Curiosities

Why is it called characteristic?

It's called "characteristic" because it signifies a feature that characterizes, identifies, or distinguishes a person or thing.

How many syllables are in characteristic?

There are five syllables in "characteristic."

What is a stressed syllable in characteristic?

The stressed syllable in "characteristic" is the third one: "ter."

What is the verb form of characteristic?

Characteristic does not have a verb form; it is used as a noun or adjective.

What is the plural form of characteristic?

The plural form is "characteristics."

What is the root word of characteristic?

The root word of "characteristic" is "character."

How do we divide characteristic into syllables?

We divide it into syllables as char-ac-ter-is-tic.

How is characteristic used in a sentence?

Characteristic is used as an adjective or noun to describe a distinguishing feature or quality.

Is characteristic an adverb?

No, characteristic is not an adverb.

Is the word “characteristic” a Direct object or an Indirect object?

"Characteristic" can be a direct object when used as a noun in a sentence.

Which article is used with characteristic?

Both "the" and "a" can be used with "characteristic," depending on the context.

What is another term for characteristic?

Another term for "characteristic" is "trait" or "feature."

Is characteristic a noun or adjective?

Characteristic can be both a noun and an adjective.

Is characteristic a negative or positive word?

Characteristic is neutral; it can describe positive or negative features.

Is characteristic a countable noun?

Yes, as a noun, characteristic is countable.

Is the characteristic term a metaphor?

"Characteristic" can be used metaphorically to describe features that define something.

Is the word characteristic Gerund?

No, characteristic is not a gerund; it's an adjective or noun.

Which preposition is used with characteristic?

Prepositions like "of" or "for" are commonly used with "characteristic."

Which conjunction is used with characteristic?

Conjunctions like "and" or "but" can be used to connect characteristics.

What is the pronunciation of characteristic?

It is pronounced as /ˌkær.ək.təˈrɪs.tɪk/.

What is the singular form of characteristic?

The singular form is "characteristic."

Is characteristic a vowel or consonant?

The word "characteristic" starts with a consonant.

Which determiner is used with characteristic?

Determiners like "the," "a," or possessive pronouns can be used with "characteristic."

Which vowel is used before characteristic?

The article "a" is used before "characteristic" when it functions as a singular noun.

What is the opposite of characteristic?

The opposite of "characteristic" could be "uncharacteristic" or "atypical."

Is characteristic a collective noun?

No, characteristic is not a collective noun.

Is the word characteristic imperative?

No, characteristic is not an imperative form; it's descriptive.

What part of speech is characteristic?

Characteristic is both an adjective and a noun.

Is characteristic an abstract noun?

Yes, when used as a noun, characteristic can be considered abstract.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Maham Liaqat
Co-written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.

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