characterize (v.) 1590s, "to engrave, write," formed in English or else from M.L. characterizare, from Gk. kharakterizein "to designate by a characteristic mark," from kharakter (see CHARACTER (Cf. character)). Meaning "to describe the qualities of" is recorded from 1630s; that of "to be characteristic" is from 1744. Related: Characterized; characterizing.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • Characterize — Char ac*ter*ize, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Characterized}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Characterizing}.] [LL. characterizare, Gr. ?: cf. F. charact[ e]riser.] 1. To make distinct and recognizable by peculiar marks or traits; to make with distinctive features.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • characterize — characterize, distinguish, mark, qualify are comparable when they mean to be a peculiar or significant quality or feature of something. Characterize stresses that quality or feature (or those qualities or features) which stands out and identifies …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • characterize — I verb classify, construe, delineate, depict, descend to particulars, describe, designare, detail, diagram, differentiate, distinguish, draw, elucidate, exemplify, express precisely, formalize, give an account of, give precise meaning to, give… …   Law dictionary

  • characterize — (Amer.) char·ac·ter·ize || kærÉ™ktÉ™raɪz v. describe; be a characteristic of (also characterise) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • characterize — [v] typify, distinguish belong to, brand, button down*, constitute, define, delineate, describe, designate, differentiate, discriminate, feature, identify, indicate, individualize, individuate, inform, make up, mark, outline, peculiarize, peg,… …   New thesaurus

  • characterize — (also characterise) ► VERB 1) describe the distinctive character of. 2) (of a feature or quality) be characteristic of. DERIVATIVES characterization noun …   English terms dictionary

  • characterize — [kar′ək tər īz΄, kar′iktər īz΄] vt. characterized, characterizing [ML characterizare < Gr charaktērizein: see CHARACTER] 1. to describe or portray the particular qualities, features, or traits of 2. to be the distinctive character of;… …   English World dictionary

  • characterize */*/ — UK [ˈkærɪktəraɪz] / US [ˈkerəktəˌraɪz] verb [transitive] Word forms characterize : present tense I/you/we/they characterize he/she/it characterizes present participle characterizing past tense characterized past participle characterized 1) to be… …   English dictionary

  • characterize — also ise BrE verb (T) 1 to be typical of a person, place, or thing: Bright, vibrant colours characterize his paintings. 2 to describe the character of someone or something in a particular way; portray: characterize sb as sth: I would characterize …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • characterize — characterizable, adj. characterizer, n. /kar ik teuh ruyz /, v.t., characterized, characterizing. 1. to mark or distinguish as a characteristic; be a characteristic of: Rich metaphors characterize his poetry. 2. to describe the character or… …   Universalium

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