/ ˈkærəktə(r); NAmE / noun
QUALITIES / FEATURES
[ C , usually sing. ] all the qualities and features that make a person, groups of people, and places different from others :
to have a strong / weak character
character traits / defects
The book gives a fascinating insight into Mrs Blair's character.
Generosity is part of the American character.
The character of the neighbourhood hasn't changed at all.
[ C , usually sing. , U ] the way that sth is, or a particular quality or feature that a thing, an event or a place has
SYN nature :
the delicate character of the light in the evening
buildings that are very simple in character
[ U ] ( approving ) strong personal qualities such as the ability to deal with difficult or dangerous situations :
Everyone admires her strength of character and determination.
He showed great character returning to the sport after his accident.
Adventure camps are considered to be character-building (= meant to improve sb's strong qualities) .
[ U ] (usually approving ) the interesting or unusual quality that a place or a person has :
The modern hotels here have no real character.
a face with a lot of character
STRANGE / INTERESTING PERSON
[ C ] ( informal ) (used with an adjective) a person, particularly an unpleasant or strange one :
There were some really strange characters hanging around the bar.
[ C ] ( informal ) an interesting or unusual person :
She's a character!
[ C , U ] ( formal ) the opinion that people have of you, particularly of whether you can be trusted or relied on :
She was a victim of character assassination (= an unfair attack on the good opinion people had of her) .
a slur / attack on his character
My teacher agreed to be a character witness for me in court.
a character reference (= a letter that a person who knows you well writes to an employer to tell them about your good qualities)
IN BOOK / PLAY / MOVIE
[ C ] a person or an animal in a book, play or film / movie :
a major / minor character in the book
SYMBOL / LETTER
[ C ] a letter, sign, mark or symbol used in writing, printing or on computers :
a line 30 characters long
- in character | out of character
- in character (with sth)
Middle English : from Old French caractere , via Latin from Greek kharaktēr a stamping tool. From the early sense distinctive mark arose token, feature, or trait (early 16th cent.), and from this a description, especially of a person's qualities , giving rise to distinguishing qualities .