# Characteristic

Also, characteristical. pertaining to, constituting, or indicating the character or peculiar quality of a person or thing; typical; distinctive:

Red and gold are the characteristic colors of autumn.

a distinguishing feature or quality:

Generosity is his chief characteristic.

Mathematics.

the integral part of a common logarithm.

Compare mantissa.

the exponent of 10 in a number expressed in scientific notation.

the smallest positive integer n such that each element of a given ring added to itself n times results in 0.

**noun**

a distinguishing quality, attribute, or trait

(maths)

the integral part of a common logarithm, indicating the order of magnitude of the associated number: the characteristic of 2.4771 is 2 Compare mantissa

another name for exponent, used esp in number representation in computing

**adjective**

indicative of a distinctive quality, etc; typical

**adjective** and **noun** both first attested 1660s, from character + -istic on model of Greek kharakteristikos. Earlier in the adjectival sense was characteristical (1620s). Related: Characteristically (1640s). Characteristics “distinctive traits” also attested from 1660s.

characteristic char·ac·ter·is·tic (kār’ək-tə-rĭs’tĭk)

n.

See character.

char’ac·ter·is’tic **adj.**

characteristic

(kār’ək-tə-rĭs’tĭk)

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. Compare mantissa.

Tagged: c

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