Dictionary > Characteristic


noun, plural: characteristics
(1) A distinguishing quality, trait or feature of an individual, thing, disorder, etc.
(2) A distinctive mark, feature, attribute, or property of an individual or thing.
Being a feature or trait that helps identify an individual, thing, etc.
For instance, a living thing is considered alive when it shows the following general characteristics:

  • It is made up of cell(s).
  • It is capable of growth and development.
  • It obtains energy and utilizes it.
  • It can reproduce.
  • It responds to its environment.
  • It is capable of adapting to its environment.

Word origin: Greek charakt─ôristik├│s (to designate, characterize)

Related forms: characteristically (adverb)
Related terms:

  • Characteristic curve
  • Characteristic radiation

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