|1.||a distinguishing quality, attribute, or trait|
|a. Compare mantissa the integral part of a common logarithm, indicating the order of magnitude of the associated number: the characteristic of 2.4771 is 2|
|b. another name for exponent, used esp in number representation in computing|
|3.||indicative of a distinctive quality, etc; typical|
characteristic char·ac·ter·is·tic (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.