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 Originlate 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