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Stories We Like: A Guide to the Comma

characterize

[kar-ik-tuh-rahyz] /ˈkær ɪk təˌraɪz/
verb (used with object), characterized, characterizing.
1.
to mark or distinguish as a characteristic; be a characteristic of:
Rich metaphors characterize his poetry.
2.
to describe the character or individual quality of:
He characterized her in a few well-chosen words.
3.
to attribute character to:
to characterize him as a coward.
Also, especially British, characterise.
Origin
1585-1595
1585-95; < Medieval Latin charactērizāre < Greek charaktērízein. See character, -ize
Related forms
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for characterise
  • Energy of expression, colour and variety of phrase, invention and redundancy characterise them all.
  • He discussed a number of attempts in his field to model and characterise various aspects of the decision-making process.
  • 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.
British Dictionary definitions for characterise

characterize

/ˈkærɪktəˌraɪz/
verb (transitive)
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
Derived Forms
characterizable, characterisable, adjective
characterizer, characteriser, noun
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 characterise
characterise
British spelling of characterize (q.v.); for suffix, see -ize.
characterize
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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