[kar-ik-tuh-rahyz] /ˈkær ɪk təˌraɪz/

verb (used with object), characterized, characterizing.
to mark or distinguish as a ; be a characteristic of:
Rich metaphors characterize his poetry.
to describe the or individual quality of:
He characterized her in a few well-chosen words.
to attribute character to:
to characterize him as a coward.
verb (transitive)
to be a characteristic of: loneliness characterized the place
to distinguish or mark as a characteristic
to describe or portray the character of

1590s, “to engrave, write,” back-formation from characterization, or else from Medieval Latin characterizare, from Greek kharakterizein “to designate by a characteristic mark,” from kharakter (see character). Meaning “to describe the qualities of” is recorded from 1630s; that of “to be characteristic” is from 1744. Related: Characterized; characterizing.


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