Definition of characteristic noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˌkærəktəˈrɪstɪk//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌkærəktəˈrɪstɪk//
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 characteristic (of something/somebody) a typical feature or quality that something/somebody has The need to communicate is a key characteristic of human society. The two groups of children have quite different characteristics. Personal characteristics, such as age and sex are taken into account. genetic characteristics Word Originmid 17th cent.: from French caractéristique or medieval Latin characteristicus, from Greek kharaktēristikos, from kharaktēr ‘a stamping tool’.Extra examples Mobility is the defining characteristic of modern life. The two species have several characteristics in common. Voters are primarily attracted by the charisma or personal characteristics of a candidate. His melodies have distinguishing characteristics which make them instantly identifiable. Personal characteristics, such as age, sex and marital status are taken into account.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: characteristic