Meaning of CHARACTER in English


Pronunciation: ' ker-ik-t ə r, ' ka-rik-

Function: noun

Etymology: Middle English caracter, from Latin character mark, distinctive quality, from Greek charakt ē r, from charassein to scratch, engrave; perhaps akin to Lithuanian ž erti to scratch

Date: 14th century

1 a : a conventionalized graphic device placed on an object as an indication of ownership, origin, or relationship b : a graphic symbol (as a hieroglyph or alphabet letter) used in writing or printing c : a magical or astrological emblem d : ALPHABET e (1) : WRITING , PRINTING (2) : style of writing or printing (3) : CIPHER f : a symbol (as a letter or number) that represents information also : a representation of such a character that may be accepted by a computer

2 a : one of the attributes or features that make up and distinguish an individual b (1) : a feature used to separate distinguishable things into categories also : a group or kind so separated <advertising of a very primitive character > (2) : the detectable expression of the action of a gene or group of genes (3) : the aggregate of distinctive qualities characteristic of a breed, strain, or type <a wine of great character > c : the complex of mental and ethical traits marking and often individualizing a person, group, or nation <the character of the American people> d : main or essential nature especially as strongly marked and serving to distinguish <excess sewage gradually changed the character of the lake>

3 : POSITION , CAPACITY <his character as a town official>


5 : REPUTATION <the scandal has damaged his character and image>

6 : moral excellence and firmness <a man of sound character >

7 a : a person marked by notable or conspicuous traits <quite a character > b : one of the persons of a drama or novel c : the personality or part which an actor recreates <an actress who can create a character convincingly> d : characterization especially in drama or fiction e : PERSON , INDIVIDUAL <a suspicious character >

8 : a short literary sketch of the qualities of a social type


– char · ac · ter · less \ -l ə s \ adjective

– in character : in accord with a person's usual qualities or traits <behaving in character >

– out of character : not in accord with a person's usual qualities or traits <his rudeness was completely out of character >

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.