verb (used with object), characterized, characterizing.
to mark or distinguish as a characteristic; be a characteristic of: Rich metaphors characterize his poetry.
to describe the character or individual quality of: He characterized her in a few well-chosen words.
to attribute character to: to characterize him as a coward.
Also, especially British, characterise.

1585–95; < Medieval Latin charactērizāre < Greek charaktērízein. See character, -ize

characterizable, adjective
characterizer, noun
mischaracterize, verb (used with object), mischaracterized, mischaracterizing.
noncharacterized, adjective
recharacterize, verb (used with object), recharacterized, recharacterizing.
uncharacterized, adjective
well-characterized, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
characterize or characterise (ˈkærɪktəˌraɪz)
1.  to be a characteristic of: loneliness characterized the place
2.  to distinguish or mark as a characteristic
3.  to describe or portray the character of
characterise or characterise
'characterizable or characterise
'characterisable or characterise
'characterizer or characterise
'characteriser or characterise

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

British spelling of characterize (q.v.); for suffix, see -ize.

1591, "to engrave, write," from M.L. characterizare, from Gk. kharakterizein "to designate by a characteristic mark," from kharakter (see character). Meaning "to describe the qualities of" is recorded from 1633; that of "to be characteristic" is from 1744.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Energy of expression, colour and variety of phrase, invention and redundancy characterise them all.
Nobody said anything about using one view to characterise any entire community.
Rather, the worry is of persistent price declines that characterise true deflation.
He is a self-made billionaire in a country in which dynastic tendencies still characterise the corporate world.
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