[treyt; British also trey]
a distinguishing characteristic or quality, especially of one's personal nature: bad traits of character.
a pen or pencil stroke.
a stroke, touch, or strain, as of some quality: a trait of pathos; a trait of ready wit.

1470–80; < Middle French: literally, something drawn < Latin tractus. See tract1

1. peculiarity, mark, attribute, property. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To traits
World English Dictionary
trait (treɪt, treɪ)
1.  a characteristic feature or quality distinguishing a particular person or thing
2.  rare a touch or stroke
[C16: from French, from Old French: a pulling, from Latin tractus, from trahere to drag]

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

c.1477, "shot, missiles," later "a stroke, short line" (1589), from M.Fr. trait, from L. tractus "draft, drawing, drawing out," later "line drawn, feature," from pp. stem of trahere "to pull, draw" (see tract (1)). Sense of "particular feature, distinguishing quality" is first
recorded 1752, from meaning "line, streak, feature" (1561), which is common to Eng., Fr. and L.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

trait (trāt)
A characteristic, especially one that distinguishes an individual from others.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
trait   (trāt)  Pronunciation Key 
A genetically determined characteristic or condition. Traits may be physical, such as hair color or leaf shape, or they may be behavioral, such as nesting in birds and burrowing in rodents. Traits typically result from the combined action of several genes, though some traits are expressed by a single gene.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Any other observer might have seen few but unamiable traits, and have given
  them a far darker coloring.
The features are somewhat dim now, and the vitality is low, but there is no
  mistaking the hereditary traits.
Let's review a few of the traits of each category and see if any of them sound
Strong candidates also possess the traits that will make them successful at the
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature