• WordNet 3.6
    • adj characteristic typical or distinctive "heard my friend's characteristic laugh","red and gold are the characteristic colors of autumn","stripes characteristic of the zebra"
    • n characteristic a distinguishing quality
    • n characteristic any measurable property of a device measured under closely specified conditions
    • n characteristic a prominent attribute or aspect of something "the map showed roads and other features","generosity is one of his best characteristics"
    • n characteristic the integer part (positive or negative) of the representation of a logarithm; in the expression log 643 = 2.808 the characteristic is 2
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The unique characteristics of Barbie dolls in Japan are that they have their lips closed with no teeth showing
    • Characteristic A distinguishing trait, quality, or property; an element of character; that which characterized. "The characteristics of a true critic."
    • a Characteristic Pertaining to, or serving to constitute, the character; showing the character, or distinctive qualities or traits, of a person or thing; peculiar; distinctive. "Characteristic clearness of temper."
    • Characteristic (Math) The integral part (whether positive or negative) of a logarithm.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: "Evaluation and Parameterization of Stability and Safety Performance Characteristics of Two and Three Wheeled Vehicular Toys for Riding." Title of a $230,000 research project proposed by the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, to study the various ways children fall off bicycles.
    • characteristic Pertaining to, constituting, or indicating the character; exhibiting the peculiar qualities of a person or thing; peculiar; distinctive: as, a characteristic distinction; with characteristic generosity, he emptied his purse.
    • characteristic Relative to a characteristic or characteristics in sense II., 2 or .
    • n characteristic That which serves to characterize, or which constitutes or indicates the character; anything that distinguishes one person or thing or place from another; a distinctive feature.
    • n characteristic In mathematics: The index or integer part of an artificial or Briggsian logarithm. See logarithm. A number, one of a set of numbers, μ, ν, etc., referring to an i-way spread of figures of a given kind, and such that the number of these figures which satisfy any i-fold condition is equal to aμ + bν +, etc., where a, b, etc., are whole numbers depending upon the nature of this condition. This definition, given by Schubert in 1879, is a generalization of that given by Chasles in 1864. Any number related in a remarkable way to a figure: a use of the term not allowed by careful writers, A number referring to a higher singularity of an algebraical curve or surface, and expressing how many simple singularities of a given kind it replaces, The rational integral function (in its lowest terms) whose vanishing expresses the satisfaction of the condition of which it is the characteristic.
    • n characteristic In philology See characteristic letter or sound, above.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Characteristic that which marks or constitutes the character
    • adjs Characteristic marking or constituting the peculiar nature
    • ***


  • Brian Tracy
    “Decisiveness is a characteristic of high-performing men and women. Almost any decision is better than no decision at all.”
  • Warren Buffett
    “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”
  • Lord Chesterfield
    “Frequent and loud laughter is the characteristic of folly and ill manners.”
  • Robert Lindner
    Robert Lindner
    “It is a characteristic of all movements and crusades that the psychopathic element rises to the top.”
  • John W. Foster
    John W. Foster
    “One of the strongest characteristics of genius is the power of lighting its own fire.”
  • Oscar Wilde
    “Philanthropic people lose all sense of humanity. It is their distinguishing characteristic.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Gr. : cf. F. charactéristique,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Fr. caractère—L. character—Gr. charaktēr, from charass-ein, to cut, engrave.


In literature:

The second great characteristic of the pioneer was his emotional tension.
"The Evolution of the Country Community" by Warren H. Wilson
It is the total of the characteristics of man and the products of his activity that represents his true progress.
"History of Human Society" by Frank W. Blackmar
Now we'll find the "ee-see-eye-bee" characteristic.
"Letters of a Radio-Engineer to His Son" by John Mills
The origin of these characteristics in British Imperialism we shall examine in a later lecture.
"The Origins and Destiny of Imperial Britain" by J. A. Cramb
Not, however, a good characteristic example.
"The Stones of Venice, Volume III (of 3)" by John Ruskin
It is the distinguishing characteristic of modern painting.
"The Painter in Oil" by Daniel Burleigh Parkhurst
The defining characteristics here are the curious supplementary vesicles.
"The North American Slime-Moulds" by Thomas H. (Thomas Huston) MacBride
But I am convinced that those characteristics are not the essential characteristics.
"German Problems and Personalities" by Charles Sarolea
The one was a shop-boy's quality, the other the characteristic of a philosopher.
"English Critical Essays" by Various
Large shallow saline lakes are also characteristic features of this region.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 2" by Various
One characteristic of tendencies that has not previously been mentioned comes out in this example.
"Psychology" by Robert S. Woodworth
It has a characteristic red colour, inclining to orange, much like that of hyacinth or jacinth.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 4" by Various
We are foolishly building our civilization in the form of an inverted pyramid of individually acquired characteristics.
"The Social Direction of Evolution" by William E. Kellicott
The great characteristic of works of this stamp is action, intense, painful action.
"Devil Stories" by Various
What characteristics did the Patriarch show in his relations with Lot?
"Training the Teacher" by A. F. Schauffler
The manner in which he applied this thinking to his life was characteristic and individual.
"The "Genius"" by Theodore Dreiser
This form is more characteristic of the south and is common along the Gulf coast.
"Ancient Pottery of the Mississippi Valley" by William H. Holmes
Very volatile, giving characteristic white coating.
"The Elements of Blowpipe Analysis" by Frederick Hutton Getman
One of his most obvious characteristics was his love of method.
"Rustic Sounds and Other Studies in Literature and Natural History" by Francis Darwin
Huge cacti are also characteristic of this region.
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 2, Slice 5" by Various

In poetry:

The intrepid Ricardo,
With characteristic bravado,
Alluded openly to Rent
Wherever he went.
"Clerihew – Ricardo" by Edmund Clerihew Bentley
The Music
With the exception of three German Melodies, and the characteristic Introduction
Composed by
Charles E. Horn.
"The Maid Of Saxony; Or, Who's The Traitor? - Act I" by George Pope Morris
FULL-PRIVATE JAMES described might be,
As a man of a mournful mind;
No characteristic trait had he
Of any distinctive kind.
"General John" by William Schwenck Gilbert

In news:

Patent disputes like those over smartphones are a natural characteristic of a vigorously competitive industry.
The first part of each major section consists of a presentation of general concepts and a detailed description of the pathologic characteristics of specific lesions.
When Nancy Klapp moved back to San Antonio from New York to be near her elderly mother, she wanted a house with characteristics of the city's historic missions that she's long admired.
What characteristics make a salad great.
The narrator of Gore Vidal's new novel, Teddy Ottinger, is a surgically revamped bi-sexual beauty sharing many characteristics with one of his previous heroines.
Diamond Grinding Improves Surface Characteristics of Pervious Concrete.
Photo Etching Metals with Spring Characteristics.
When researchers fashion nanomaterials so small that their dimensions can be measured in molecules, the unusual and potentially valuable characteristics of those materials tend to show up immediately.
There are so many characteristics in a woman that can make her sexy.
A novel hexavalent chromate-free conversion coating was developed to improve anti-corrosion and adhesive-bonding characteristics of the magnesium alloys and zinc-nickel (Zn-Ni) plated steel substrates.
Tyler combined the durability and longevity of polyurethane with the greater open area and cost-effective characteristics of woven wire cloth to create its new Ty-Wire screen media.
" what I think to be the most brazen and threatening characteristics of our culture, things we hate, but which are also so powerful in their impingement on us," Roy Lichtenstein told Arts News in 1963.
The other characteristic of the porcupine 's paw that I wanted to share, are those long nails.
Haunting because it's characteristic of the tunes that come out of the blending of cultures represented here.
As you've probably heard, former GOP Minnesota Gov Tim Pawlenty launched his presidential exploratory committee yesterday, with a characteristically flashy announcement video.

In science:

Example 3: Characteristic polynomials The previous example is a special case of the problem of studying the degrees of the factors of the characteristic polynomial of a random matrix.
Random matrix theory over finite fields: a survey
Theorem 3.3 If g is odd, the largest characteristic non-geometric quotient of π is π/πgK and if g is even, the largest characteristic non-geometric quotient of π is π/π2gK .
Large characteristic subgroups of surface groups not containing any simple loops
Since πd : ∆ \ {0} → ∆ \ {0} is unramified, an Euler characteristic argument (or, more concretely, just cutting into small sectors over which the covering splits) shows that the Euler characteristic multiplies by d under pullback, proving the lemma.
Homology for irregular connections
The Euler characteristic ˆχ of the Schottky cover ˆΣ is related to the Euler characteristic χ = 2 − 2g − b − c of Σ by ˆχ = 2χ.
Conformal field theory, boundary conditions and applications to string theory
One can show that this space is real-analytically isomorphic to R−3χ for Euler characteristic χ(Σ) ≤ −1, isomorphic to R for Euler characteristic 0, and to a point for χ(Σ) = 1.
Conformal field theory, boundary conditions and applications to string theory
A general result is that the characteristic function of the sum of independent random variables is given by the product of the characteristic functions of the random variables.
Monte Carlo: Basics
It is clear that the characteristic function of YN is the characteristic function of X raised to the power N .
Monte Carlo: Basics
Throughout the paper we will use the notation Gn for the distribution function of the random variable Yn and G for the corresponding stable distribution; gn for the density of Yn and g for the stable density; Ψn for the characteristic function of Gn and Ψ for the characteristic function of the stable distribution.
Harmonic mean, random polynomials and stochastic matrices
Therefore, continuous spectrum and finite decoherence characteristic time are the dynamical properties needed for the system to decohere. 2.- With respect to decoherence, what Physics finally has to deal with is not the whole characteristic algebra of the system, but only the actual set of its measurable observables.
An Algebraic Formulation of Quantum Decoherence
The characteristics are given as the roots of the characteristic polynomial, which is the determinant of the principal symbol.
Applications of the theory of evolution equations to general relativity
In this framework, the Euler-Poincar´e formula [Ag] leads to the following definition of the Euler-Poincar´e characteristic χ(X ) = N 0 (X ) − N 1 (X ) + N 2 (X ) This expression will allow us to compute the mean value of the Euler-Poincar´e characteristic with respect to the FK measure.
Euler-Poincare' Characteristic and Phase Transition in the Potts Model
The I-V characteristic of this circuit is shown in Fig. 4. (b) Another circuit with a similar I-V characteristic.
A mechanism for randomness
In the presence of velocity fluctuations, a new characteristic time scale appears in the system, namely the bulkvelocity crossing time, τu = λ/u, where u is the characteristic velocity difference across scale λ.
The nonlinear development of the thermal instability in the atomic ISM and its interaction with random fluctuations
L∗ is a characteristic luminosity, n∗ is a characteristic comoving number density, and α is the power law slope at the faint end.
Rethinking Lensing and Lambda
Here η = η(x, t) is the free surface elevation, x and t are space and time variables; µ and λ are the nonlinear and dispersive small parameters: µ = 3a/2h and λ = (h/l)2/6, with a a characteristic wave amplitude and l a characteristic wavelength.
Instability of two interacting, quasi-monochromatic waves in shallow water