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Definition of "characteristic" []

  • Being a feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing; distinctive: heard my friend's characteristic laugh; the stripes that are characteristic of the zebra. (adjective)
  • A feature that helps to identify, tell apart, or describe recognizably; a distinguishing mark or trait. (noun)
  • Mathematics The integral part of a logarithm as distinguished from the mantissa: The characteristic of the logarithm 6.3214 is 6. (noun)
  • Mathematics The least number of times the multiplicative identity in a ring needs to be added to itself to reach the additive identity, or, if the additive identity is never reached, zero. The integers have a characteristic of zero; the integers modulus 12 have a characteristic of 12. (noun)

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.

Use "characteristic" in a sentence
  • "Treating people differently based on a certain characteristic is called discrimination."
  • "Their main characteristic is their ability to take on multiple identities, not because they are shared between different worlds but because they are transferred across them. 6 Motion becomes the inseparable part of their identity which has never been fixed in the first place."
  • "A description of what one might call an apparently static "interior landscape", whose main characteristic is that nothing in it is near or remote, turns out itself, not to be static, but, on the contrary, dynamic."