Meaning of CHARACTER in English


1. someone’s character

2. one part of someone’s character

3. someone’s real character

4. a definite character that makes someone different from other people

5. the character of something

6. one part of the character of something


the way that someone behaves or does something : ↑ WAY

see also






1. someone’s character

▷ character /ˈkærɪktəʳ, ˈkærəktəʳ/ [countable noun usually singular]

the combination of qualities that makes someone a particular kind of person, for example a good or bad, honest or dishonest person :

▪ Her behavior last night revealed a lot about her character.

▪ A candidate’s character and qualifications are more important than past experience.

▪ What strikes me most about Hamlet is his noble character.

▷ personality /ˌpɜːʳsəˈnælɪti, ˌpɜːʳsəˈnæləti/ [countable noun]

someone’s character - use this especially about how someone behaves towards other people, for example whether they are friendly or unfriendly, confident or easily frightened etc :

▪ It’s true he can be emotional at times but that’s just part of his personality.

▪ This election should be about issues and policies, not about the personalities of the candidates!

friendly/nice/warm etc personality

▪ Yun has a lovely, warm personality.

▷ nature /ˈneɪtʃəʳ/ [countable/uncountable noun]

someone’s character - use this especially to say whether someone is naturally good or bad, gentle or severe etc :

▪ Kindness and sympathy were in his nature.

▪ My girlfriend has a rather unforgiving nature so I don’t think that I’ll tell her.

▪ She was surprised to learn he had a romantic side to his nature.

by nature

use this when saying what someone’s usual character is

▪ She’s generous by nature.

▪ I am not by nature a violent man, but these insults were more than I could bear.

it’s not in somebody’s nature

▪ It was not in his nature to take risks.

▷ temperament /ˈtemp ə rəmənt/ [countable/uncountable noun]

the emotional part of someone’s character, especially how likely they are to become angry, happy, sad etc :

▪ His calm, quiet temperament made him popular with his colleagues.

▪ My father and I got along very well, having very similar temperaments.

the right temperament

▪ I’m not sure if she has the right temperament for the job.

▷ a nervous/jealous etc disposition /ə ˌnɜːʳvəs, ˌdʒeləs dɪspəˌzɪʃ ə n/ [singular noun] formal

a character that makes it likely that you will behave nervously, jealously etc :

▪ This program may not be suitable for people with a nervous disposition.

be of a nervous/jealous etc disposition

▪ He’s considerate and sweet-tempered but of a very nervous disposition.

have a nervous/jealous etc disposition

▪ Sue had a sunny disposition and a warm smile.

▷ make-up British /makeup American /ˈmeɪk ʌp/ [singular noun]

someone’s character - use this especially to say that someone’s character is completely fixed and they cannot change it or control it :

▪ It’s not in their make-up to accept defeat.

▪ Her constant attempts to justify her actions tell the reader a lot about her emotional make-up.

▪ This behaviour is part of our genetic make-up rather than our cultural conditioning.

be part of somebody’s make-up

▪ Stubbornness has always been a significant part of his makeup.

▷ what makes somebody tick /wɒt ˌmeɪks somebody ˈtɪk/ informal

if you know what makes someone tick, you understand their character, desires, and what makes them behave in the way they do :

▪ After working with him for five years, I still don’t know what makes him tick.

▪ As a teacher, you need to get to know your students, find out what makes them tick.

2. one part of someone’s character

▷ quality /ˈkwɒlɪti , ˈkwɒləti ǁˈkwɑː-/ [countable noun]

something such as an ability or a way of behaving that is part of someone’s character :

▪ Besides intelligence and charm, Bella had some less desirable qualities.

▪ The essential quality of a good parent is patience.

▪ Among his other endearing qualities, Ralph was an exceedingly patient man.

▷ attribute /ˈætrɪbjuːt, ˈætrəbjuːt/ [countable noun]

a part of someone’s character, especially a part that is thought by other people to be good and useful :

▪ The attribute that people found most attractive in Sharon was her optimism.

▪ Hope is one of mankind’s most enduring and rewarding attributes.

▪ He had all the attributes of a great leader: charisma, energy, discipline, and resourcefulness.

▷ characteristic /ˌkærɪktəˈrɪstɪk◂, ˌkærəktəˈrɪstɪk◂/ [countable noun usually plural]

someone’s characteristics are the qualities that are typical of them and which make them easy to recognize :

▪ All great leaders share certain characteristics which must be seen as the key to their success.

▪ Ralph can be very mean sometimes. It’s one of his less endearing characteristics.

▷ trait /treɪ, treɪt ǁ treɪt/ [countable noun]

one type of feeling or behaviour that is particularly noticeable in a person or group of people :

▪ It’s a human trait to joke about subjects that make us uncomfortable.

family trait

a trait shared by members of a family

▪ Pride seems to be one of our family traits.

personality trait

▪ Certain personality traits make people more likely to become victims of violent crime.

▷ side /saɪd/ [countable noun]

romantic/serious/funny etc side

a part of someone’s character, especially one that is very different from the rest of their character :

▪ Canning was a very traditional Englishman but he had a surprisingly romantic side to him as well.

▪ Val revealed her wild side at the office party.

▪ After his arrest people realized that there had always been a darker side to his nature.

▷ part of me/her /ˈpaːrt əv miː, hɜːʳ/ [countable noun]

one part of someone’s character, which makes them behave or feel in particular ways :

▪ Part of me loves going to parties but there’s another part that prefers staying at home.

▪ There is a part of her that I just don’t understand.

▷ streak /striːk/ [countable noun]

a part of someone’s character that is quite different from the rest of their character, especially one that makes them behave badly :

mean/nasty/violent etc streak

▪ She had a mean streak that she didn’t bother to hide.

▪ The District Attorney argued that Johnson has a violent streak and is a danger to society.

▷ thing /θɪŋ/ [countable noun] informal

a part of someone’s character, especially one that you like or dislike :

▪ One of the things I like about Susan is the way she always keeps smiling, even when there are problems.

▪ The nicest thing about Richard is that he doesn’t mind being criticized.

▷ good points/bad points /ˈgʊd ˌpɔɪnts, ˈbæd pɔɪnts/

good or bad things about someone’s character :

▪ Fred was a bad manager but he had his good points.

▪ She always tried to be fair with her students and not just stress their bad points.

▪ When you’re dead people don’t remember your faults -- only your good points.

▷ quirk /kwɜːʳk/ [countable noun]

a strange or unusual habit or part of someone’s character :

▪ Although on the outside he was quiet and shy, Albert had more than his share of quirks.

▪ She took pride in her children’s quirks and individuality, and made no effort to try to change them.

▷ there’s something about somebody /ðeəʳz ˈsʌmθɪŋ əbaʊt somebody/

you say this when there is something about a person’s character that you like or dislike, but you’re not sure exactly what it is :

▪ I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about that man which really irritates me.

3. someone’s real character

▷ true colours British /true colors American /ˌtruː ˌkʌləʳz/ [plural noun]

if someone shows their true colours they do something that shows what they are really like, when they have been pretending to be something different :

▪ With the elections safely behind him, Hitler began to show his true colours.

▪ He was friendly to me at first but he showed his true colors when we were both up for the same promotion.

▷ underneath /ˌʌndəʳˈniːθ/ [adverb/preposition]

if someone is nice, jealous, frightened etc underneath, they really are nice, jealous, or frightened even though their behaviour shows a different character :

▪ I know that she seems very aggressive, but underneath she’s really quite shy.

▪ Underneath all that boastful talk you’ll find that he’s actually a very nice guy.

underneath it all

▪ She laughed as if she was joking but underneath it all, I knew she meant it.

▷ deep down /ˌdiːp ˈdaʊn/ [adverb]

if someone is cruel, dishonest, good etc deep down, that is their true character even though they hide this in their usual behaviour :

▪ Deep down, I think she’s really very ambitious.

▪ Yeah, sometimes he can be really nice and polite but, I tell you, deep down he’s an animal!

▷ at heart /ət ˈhɑːʳt/ [adverb]

if you are a particular type of person at heart, that is your true character even though you may sometimes think you are different :

▪ She’s a traveller at heart. You’ll never get her to settle down.

▪ Paul was an easy-going fellow at heart who wanted only to enjoy himself.

4. a definite character that makes someone different from other people

▷ identity /aɪˈdentɪti, aɪˈdentəti/ [uncountable noun]

the definite character that a person or group sees themselves as having, which lets them feel different and separate from everyone else :

▪ She was afraid marriage would cause her to lose her identity.

▪ The islanders are proud of their strong regional identity.

sense of identity

the feeling that you have a strong identity

▪ Many teenagers play sports to gain a sense of identity.

▷ individuality /ˌindɪˌvidʒuˈæləty, ˌindəˌvidʒuˈæləty/ [uncountable noun]

the quality of being clearly different from other people and having your own personal character :

▪ It’s difficult to be part of a highly organized group such as the armed forces without losing some of your individuality.

▪ We have a close working relationship while retaining our individuality and separate interests.

▷ personality /ˌpɜːʳsəˈnælɪti, ˌpɜːʳsəˈnæləti/ [uncountable noun]

the quality of being interesting, friendly, and enjoyable to be with, that makes someone seem very different from most other people :

▪ Everyone loves her for her cheerful personality.

▪ Yes, he’s got plenty of talent and ambition, but he’s got no personality.

▪ Billie Holiday or Bessie Smith had more personality than a hundred of today’s pop singers.

5. the character of something

▷ character /ˈkærɪktəʳ, ˈkærəktəʳ/ [singular/uncountable noun]

the combination of qualities that a particular kind of place, thing etc has :

the character of

▪ The whole character of the school had changed.

▪ We’ll find out about the true character of this team after these next few games.


▪ Marx’s view of society stressed its dynamic character.

in character

▪ Liquids are different in character from both solids and gases.

▷ nature /ˌneɪtʃəʳ/ [singular/uncountable noun]

the true character of something, which you must understand in order to know what it is really like :

the nature of

▪ The doctor admitted that he didn’t yet understand the nature of Julie’s illness.

▪ Monnens spends his days explaining the nature of Internet advertising to clients.

by its nature

because of its nature

▪ Computers, by their nature, tend to change the way offices are organized.

be in the nature of something

be a permanent part of its nature

▪ It’s in the nature of elections that campaigning sometimes gets quite tough.

▷ essence /ˌes ə ns/ [singular noun]

the most basic and important quality of something that make it different from anything else :

the essence of

▪ This is the essence of the problem, as I see it.

▪ The movie brilliantly captures the essence of Calcutta’s street life.

▪ Sharing is the essence of friendship.

in essence

most importantly

▪ His speech was, in essence, a plea for understanding and conciliation.

6. one part of the character of something

▷ characteristic /ˌkærɪktəˈrɪstɪk◂, ˌkærəktəˈrɪstɪk◂/ [countable noun usually plural]

a part of the character of something that makes it clearly different from or similar to other things :

▪ One of the characteristics of this species is the dark blue markings on its back.

▪ The main characteristics of capitalism are private ownership of capital and freedom of enterprise.

share characteristics/have characteristics in common

have similar characteristics

▪ The UK shares many characteristics with other European countries.

▪ The two diseases have a number of characteristics in common.

▷ quality /ˈkwɒlɪti , ˈkwɒləti ǁ ˈkwɑː-/ [countable noun]

an important part of the character of something, especially a part that is good :

▪ There are certain qualities in Orwell’s prose that I greatly admire.

▪ Despite its many qualities, the school simply isn’t getting results.

▪ This wine possesses a unique quality.

a quality of

▪ There is a wonderful quality of innocence in these paintings.

▷ property /ˈprɒpəʳtiǁ ˈprɑː-/ [countable noun]

a characteristic that a particular substance or chemical has :

▪ The properties of the soil influence the growth of the plants.

▪ We test the chemical and biological properties of the samples.

▪ The conducting properties of solids vary widely.

▷ feature /ˈfiːtʃəʳ/ [countable noun]

an important, noticeable, or interesting characteristic of something :

▪ The hotel’s most attractive feature is its magnificent view of Mount Hood.

▪ Patriotism was a prominent feature in Bush’s election campaign.

a feature of

▪ Information on employment is a central feature of this training course.

▷ attribute /ˈætrɪbjuːt, ˈætrəbjuːt/ [countable noun]

a characteristic of an organization or system, especially a good characteristic :

▪ He possesses the essential attributes of a journalist.

▪ She spent most of the interview describing the company’s attributes to me.

▷ thing /θɪŋ/ [countable noun usually singular] informal

a characteristic of something, especially one that you like or dislike :

▪ The thing that I really hate about this job is having to work late at night.

▪ All that lovely fresh air -- that’s the best thing about living in the country.

▷ good points/bad points /ˈgʊd pɔɪnts, ˈbæd pɔɪnts/ [plural noun]

the good or bad things about a place or thing :

▪ The city is big and noisy, but it does have its good points too.

▷ there’s something about something /ðeəʳz ˈsʌmθɪŋ əbaʊt something/

you say this when there’s something about a thing, a place, someone’s behaviour etc that you like or dislike, but you’re not sure exactly what it is :

▪ There’s something very strange about this whole affair.

▪ There was something about the place that gave me the creeps.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .