WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
char•ac•ter /ˈkærɪktɚ/USA pronunciation   n. 
  1. the collection of qualities that form the individual nature of a person or thing, and that make it different from others:[uncountable]The chief flaw in her character was impatience.
  2. one such feature or characteristic:[uncountable]His note was mostly positive in character.
  3. [uncountable] moral or ethical strength;
    honesty: a woman of strong character.
  4. [uncountable] reputation: a stain on one's character.
  5. [uncountable] special, often interesting qualities: an old pub with a lot of character.
  6. [countable] a person, esp. with reference to behavior: A suspicious character was standing in the hallway.
  7. Informal Terms an odd or unusual person:[countable]She's quite a character, isn't she?
  8. Literature, Show Business a person represented in a drama, story, etc.:[countable]One of the characters is Hamlet.
  9. Linguistics[countable] a symbol used in a system of writing: Chinese characters.

adj. [before a noun]
  1. Show Business
    • Show Business(of a role in a play, film, etc.) having or requiring unusual qualities:played some character parts, mostly as a villain.
  2. (of an actor) acting or specializing in such roles:became a character actor, playing the bad guy in Westerns.
  1. Idiomsin (or out of  ) character,
    • like (or not like) the way that is usual for someone:She seems so cranky today; that's very out of character.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
char•ac•ter  (karik tər),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
  2. one such feature or trait;
  3. moral or ethical quality:a man of fine, honorable character.
  4. qualities of honesty, courage, or the like;
    integrity:It takes character to face up to a bully.
  5. reputation:a stain on one's character.
  6. good repute.
  7. an account of the qualities or peculiarities of a person or thing.
  8. a person, esp. with reference to behavior or personality:a suspicious character.
  9. Informal Termsan odd, eccentric, or unusual person.
  10. Literature, Show Businessa person represented in a drama, story, etc.
  11. Literature, Show Businessa part or role, as in a play or film.
  12. Linguisticsa symbol as used in a writing system, as a letter of the alphabet.
  13. Linguisticsthe symbols of a writing system collectively.
  14. a significant visual mark or symbol.
  15. status or capacity:the character of a justice of the peace.
  16. a written statement from an employer concerning the qualities of a former employee.
  17. Literature(esp. in 17th- and 18th-century England) a formal character sketch or descriptive analysis of a particular human virtue or vice as represented in a person or type. Cf. character sketch.
  18. Geneticsany trait, function, structure, or substance of an organism resulting from the effect of one or more genes as modified by the environment.
  19. Computing
    • any symbol, as a number, letter, punctuation mark, etc., that represents data and that, when encoded, is usable by a machine.
    • one of a set of basic symbols that singly or in a series of two or more represents data and, when encoded, is usable in a computer.
  20. Literature, Printinga style of writing or printing.
  21. Religion[Rom. Cath. Theol.]the ineffaceable imprint received on the soul through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and ordination.
  22. (formerly) a cipher or cipher message.
  23. Idiomsin character: 
    • in harmony with one's personal character or disposition:Such behavior is not in character for him.
    • in accordance with the role or personality assumed in a performance:an actor in character.
  24. Idiomsout of character: 
    • out of harmony with one's personal character or disposition:Her remarks were out of character.
    • Show Businessaway from the role or personality assumed in a performance:The actor stepped out of character.

  1. Show Business[Theat.]
    • Show Business(of a part or role) representing a personality type, esp. by emphasizing distinctive traits, as language, mannerisms, physical makeup, etc.
    • (of an actor or actress) acting or specializing in such roles.

v.t. Archaic. 
  1. to portray;
  2. to engrave;
charac•ter•less, adj. 
  • Latin, as above
  • Middle French
  • Greek charakté̄r graving tool, its mark, equivalent. to charak- (base of charáttein to engrave) + -tēr agent suffix; replacing Middle English caractere
  • Latin
  • 1275–1325
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged Character, individuality, personality refer to the sum of the characteristics possessed by a person.
      Character refers esp. to moral qualities, ethical standards, principles, and the like:a man of sterling character.Individuality refers to the distinctive qualities that make one recognizable as a person differentiated from others:a woman of strong individuality.Personality refers particularly to the combination of outer and inner characteristics that determine the impression that a person makes upon others:a child of vivid or pleasing personality.
    • 5.See corresponding entry in Unabridged name, repute. See  reputation. 
    • 14.See corresponding entry in Unabridged sign.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

character /ˈkærɪktə/ n
  1. the combination of traits and qualities distinguishing the individual nature of a person or thing
  2. one such distinguishing quality; characteristic
  3. moral force; integrity: a man of character
  4. reputation, esp a good reputation
  5. (as modifier): character assassination
  6. a person represented in a play, film, story, etc; role
  7. an outstanding person: one of the great characters of the century
  8. informal an odd, eccentric, or unusual person: he's quite a character
  9. an informal word for person: a shady character
  10. a symbol used in a writing system, such as a letter of the alphabet
  11. Also called: sort any single letter, numeral, punctuation mark, or symbol cast as a type
  12. any letter, numeral, etc, which is a unit of information and can be represented uniquely by a binary pattern
  13. a style of writing or printing
  14. any structure, function, attribute, etc, in an organism, which may or may not be determined by a gene or group of genes
  15. a short prose sketch of a distinctive type of person, usually representing a vice or virtue
  16. in charactertypical of the apparent character of a person or thing
  17. out of characternot typical of the apparent character of a person or thing
Etymology: 14th Century: from Latin: distinguishing mark, from Greek kharaktēr engraver's tool, from kharassein to engrave, stamp

ˈcharacterful adj ˈcharacterless adj

'character' also found in these entries:
Collocations: has a [strong, independent] character, a [popular, much-loved, well-known] character actor, is a [commendable, deplorable, approachable, flawed] character, more...

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