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characteristic

[kar-ik-tuh-ris-tik] /ˌkær ɪk təˈrɪs tɪk/
adjective
1.
Also, characteristical. pertaining to, constituting, or indicating the character or peculiar quality of a person or thing; typical; distinctive:
Red and gold are the characteristic colors of autumn.
noun
2.
a distinguishing feature or quality:
Generosity is his chief characteristic.
3.
Mathematics.
  1. the integral part of a common logarithm.
    Compare mantissa.
  2. the exponent of 10 in a number expressed in scientific notation.
  3. the smallest positive integer n such that each element of a given ring added to itself n times results in 0.
Origin
1655-1665
1655-65; < Greek charaktēristikós. See character, -istic
Related forms
characteristically, adverb
noncharacteristic, adjective
noncharacteristically, adverb
quasi-characteristic, adjective
quasi-characteristically, adverb
uncharacteristic, adjective
uncharacteristically, adverb
Synonyms
1. special, peculiar. 2. attribute, property, trait. See feature.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for characteristics
  • Then use them in recipes that emphasize their best characteristics.
  • Biga, is a yeast-based starter, gives the loaf characteristics of bread made with a sourdough starter.
  • Find out which characteristics shine on their own and which make good blending ingredients.
  • See animals up close and gain a better understanding of their habitat, size and adaptive characteristics.
  • These are precisely the same characteristics that sound so wrong in old time music.
  • But it's comforting to know that the big cats share some of the house cats' cuddlier characteristics.
  • Of all its distinctive characteristics none is more familiar than the po-ta-to, po-ta-to, po-ta-to sound of the idling engine.
  • Finally, up to two years after the initial mating, disease resistance and other characteristics can be evaluated.
  • It was interesting how you tied the characteristics of a small town to the dysfunction of your family.
  • As if their compelling native characteristics had been replaced by ersatz versions.
British Dictionary definitions for characteristics

characteristic

/ˌkærɪktəˈrɪstɪk/
noun
1.
a distinguishing quality, attribute, or trait
2.
(maths)
  1. the integral part of a common logarithm, indicating the order of magnitude of the associated number: the characteristic of 2.4771 is 2 Compare mantissa
  2. another name for exponent, used esp in number representation in computing
adjective
3.
indicative of a distinctive quality, etc; typical
Derived Forms
characteristically, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for characteristics

characteristic

adjective and noun both first attested 1660s, from character + -istic on model of Greek kharakteristikos. Earlier in the adjectival sense was characteristical (1620s). Related: Characteristically (1640s). Characteristics "distinctive traits" also attested from 1660s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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characteristics in Medicine

characteristic char·ac·ter·is·tic (kār'ək-tə-rĭs'tĭk)
n.
See character.


char'ac·ter·is'tic adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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characteristics in Science
characteristic
  (kār'ək-tə-rĭs'tĭk)   
The part of a logarithm to the base 10 that is to the left of the decimal point. For example, if 2.749 is a logarithm, 2 is the characteristic. Compare mantissa.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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