Definition of characterize verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    (British English also -ise) verb
    BrE BrE//ˈkærəktəraɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkærəktəraɪz//
    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they characterize
    BrE BrE//ˈkærəktəraɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkærəktəraɪz//
    he / she / it characterizes
    BrE BrE//ˈkærəktəraɪzɪz//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkærəktəraɪzɪz//
    past simple characterized
    BrE BrE//ˈkærəktəraɪzd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkærəktəraɪzd//
    past participle characterized
    BrE BrE//ˈkærəktəraɪzd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkærəktəraɪzd//
    -ing form characterizing
    BrE BrE//ˈkærəktəraɪzɪŋ//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkærəktəraɪzɪŋ//
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  1. 1characterize somebody/something to be typical of a person, place or thing the rolling hills that characterize this part of England
  2. 2characterize somebody/something [often passive] to give somebody/something its typical or most noticeable qualities or features The city is characterized by tall modern buildings in steel and glass.
  3. 3characterize somebody/something (as something) to describe or show the qualities of somebody/something in a particular way activities that are characterized as ‘male’ or ‘female’ work How would you characterize the mood of the 1990s?
  4. Word Origin late 16th cent. (in the sense ‘engrave, inscribe’): from French caractériser or medieval Latin characterizare, from Greek kharaktērizein, from kharaktēr ‘a stamping tool’.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: characterize