To describe the qualities or peculiarities of: characterized the warden as ruthless.
To be a distinctive trait or mark of; distinguish: the rash and high fever that characterize this disease; a region that is characterized by its dikes and canals.
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.