characterize

To characterize someone is to describe them in a certain way, to try to pin down his or her personality. If you say your dad is stingy, you are characterizing him as a miser.

See the word character in characterize? Two meanings of character can help you understand this word. We all have character, meaning we all have unique personalities. Also, characters are people in books, movies, plays, and TV shows. Characterizing has to do with summing up how a person acts in real life or is portrayed in a work of fiction.

Definitions of characterize
  1. verb
    be characteristic of
    “What characterizes a Venetian painting?”
    synonyms: characterise
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    types:
    individuate
    give individual character to
    define
    determine the nature of
    type of:
    differentiate, distinguish, mark
    be a distinctive feature, attribute, or trait; sometimes in a very positive sense
  2. verb
    describe or portray the character or the qualities or peculiarities of
    “You can characterize his behavior as that of an egotist”
    “This poem can be characterized as a lament for a dead lover”
    synonyms: characterise, qualify
    see moresee less
    types:
    differentiate, distinguish, mark
    be a distinctive feature, attribute, or trait; sometimes in a very positive sense
    stamp
    reveal clearly as having a certain character
    characterise
    be characteristic of
    type of:
    remember, think of
    keep in mind for attention or consideration
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