A trait is something about you that makes you "you." When your mother says that you get all your best traits from her, she means you have the same charming smile and the same brilliant mind as she has.

In science, trait refers to a characteristic that is caused by genetics. Having green eyes or being shorter than average are traits a person might have. In more general use, a trait is an important part of someone’s personality or appearance. Try to describe your favorite teacher in three words and you’ll probably come up with a list of her essential traits — such as compassionate, calm, and kooky.

Definitions of trait
  1. noun
    a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
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    character, fiber, fibre
    the inherent complex of attributes that determines a person's moral and ethical actions and reactions
    the complex of emotional and intellectual attributes that determine a person's characteristic actions and reactions
    compulsiveness, compulsivity
    the trait of acting compulsively
    emotionalism, emotionality
    emotional nature or quality
    emotionlessness, unemotionality
    absence of emotion
    activeness, activity
    the trait of being active; moving or acting rapidly and energetically
    inactiveness, inactivity, inertia
    a disposition to remain inactive or inert
    earnestness, serious-mindedness, seriousness, sincerity
    the trait of being serious
    frivolity, frivolousness
    the trait of being frivolous; not serious or sensible
    the trait of being communicative
    the trait of being uncommunicative
    the trait of thinking carefully before acting
    thoughtlessness, unthoughtfulness
    the trait of not thinking carefully before acting
    the trait of being observant and paying attention
    the trait of not being considerate and thoughtful of others
    the trait of behaving in ways considered typical for men
    femininity, muliebrity
    the trait of behaving in ways considered typical for women
    trustiness, trustworthiness
    the trait of deserving trust and confidence
    untrustiness, untrustworthiness
    the trait of not deserving trust or confidence
    individualism, individuality, individuation
    the quality of being individual
    a lack of generosity; a general unwillingness to part with money
    egocentrism, egoism, self-centeredness, self-concern, self-interest
    concern for your own interests and welfare
    the trait of being highly motivated
    firmness, firmness of purpose, resoluteness, resolution, resolve
    the trait of being resolute
    irresoluteness, irresolution
    the trait of being irresolute; lacking firmness of purpose
    the trait of being well behaved
    indiscipline, undiscipline
    the trait of lacking discipline
    the trait of being spurred on by a dislike of falling below your standards
    conceit, conceitedness, vanity
    the trait of being unduly vain and conceited; false pride
    humbleness, humility
    a disposition to be humble; a lack of false pride
    wisdom, wiseness
    the trait of utilizing knowledge and experience with common sense and insight
    folly, foolishness, unwiseness
    the trait of acting stupidly or rashly
    judgement, judgment, perspicacity, sound judgement, sound judgment
    the capacity to assess situations or circumstances shrewdly and to draw sound conclusions
    trust, trustfulness, trustingness
    the trait of believing in the honesty and reliability of others
    distrust, distrustfulness, mistrust
    the trait of not trusting others
    diligence in keeping clean
    lack of cleanly habits
    behavior, behaviour, conduct, demeanor, demeanour, deportment
    (behavioral attributes) the way a person behaves toward other people
    flexibility, tractability, tractableness
    the trait of being easily persuaded
    intractability, intractableness
    the trait of being hard to influence or control
    ruralism, rurality
    a rural characteristic or trait
    a fundamental emotional and activating principle determining one's character
    animal nature, animality
    the physical (or animal) side of a person as opposed to the spirit or intellect
    disposition, temperament
    your usual mood
    (obsolete) a combination of elements (of dryness and warmth or of the four humors) that was once believed to determine a person's health and temperament
    obsessiveness, obsessivity
    extreme compulsiveness
    compulsiveness about working
    the quality of being arresting or highly emotional
    tending to express your feelings freely
    affectionateness, fondness, lovingness, warmth
    a quality proceeding from feelings of affection or love
    drippiness, mawkishness, mushiness, sentimentality, sloppiness, soupiness
    falsely emotional in a maudlin way
    heat, passion, warmth
    the trait of being intensely emotional
    excessive emotionalism or irritability and excitability (especially when displayed openly)
    excitability, excitableness, volatility
    being easily excited
    the trait of exhibiting no personal embarrassment or concern
    chilliness, coldness, coolness, frigidity, frigidness, iciness
    a lack of affection or enthusiasm
    dispassion, dispassionateness, dryness
    objectivity and detachment
    stoicism, stolidity, stolidness
    an indifference to pleasure or pain
    animation, brio, invigoration, spiritedness, vivification
    quality of being active or spirited or alive and vigorous
    dynamism, oomph, pizzaz, pizzazz, zing
    the activeness of an energetic personality
    flatness, languor, lethargy, phlegm, sluggishness
    inactivity; showing an unusual lack of energy
    the attribute of being restful
    passiveness, passivity
    the trait of remaining inactive; a lack of initiative
    indolence, laziness
    inactivity resulting from a dislike of work
    commitment, committedness
    the trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose
    graveness, gravity, soberness, sobriety, somberness, sombreness
    a manner that is serious and solemn
    sedateness, solemness, solemnity, staidness
    a trait of dignified seriousness
    giddiness, silliness
    an impulsive scatterbrained manner
    a manner lacking seriousness
    fun, playfulness
    a disposition to find (or make) causes for amusement
    frankness, outspokenness
    the trait of being blunt and outspoken
    effusiveness, expansiveness, expansivity, rhapsody
    the expression of excessive emotion, enthusiasm, or pleasure
    articulateness, fluency, volubility
    the quality of being facile in speech and writing
    garrulity, garrulousness, loquaciousness, loquacity, talkativeness
    the quality of being wordy and talkative
    muteness, silence
    a refusal to speak when expected
    secrecy, secretiveness, silence
    the trait of keeping things secret
    reserve, reticence, taciturnity
    the trait of being uncommunicative; not volunteering anything more than necessary
    the tendency to associate with others and to form social groups
    contemplativeness, meditativeness, pensiveness
    deep serious thoughtfulness
    thoughtfulness about your own situation and feelings
    deliberateness, deliberation
    the trait of thoughtfulness in action or decision
    reflectiveness, reflectivity
    the capability of quiet thought or contemplation
    foolhardiness, rashness, recklessness
    the trait of giving little thought to danger
    the trait of acting suddenly on impulse without reflection
    the quality of being careful and painstaking
    heedfulness, mindfulness
    the trait of staying aware of (paying close attention to) your responsibilities
    carefulness, caution, cautiousness
    the trait of being cautious; being attentive to possible danger
    alertness, on the qui vive, sharp-sightedness
    lively attentiveness
    vigilance, watchfulness, weather eye
    vigilant attentiveness
    carelessness, sloppiness
    the quality of not being careful or taking pains
    heedlessness, inadvertence, inadvertency, unmindfulness
    the trait of forgetting or ignoring your responsibilities
    manfulness, manliness, virility
    the trait of being manly; having the characteristics of an adult male
    being characteristic of a boy
    exaggerated masculinity
    hoydenism, tomboyishness
    masculinity in women (especially in girls and young women)
    womanlike, womanliness
    the trait of being womanly; having the characteristics of an adult female
    behavior befitting a lady
    behavior befitting a young maiden
    being characteristic of a girl
    effeminacy, effeminateness, sissiness, softness, unmanliness, womanishness
    the trait of being effeminate (derogatory of a man)
    trustworthiness with money as based on a person's credit history; a general qualification for borrowing
    responsibility, responsibleness
    a form of trustworthiness; the trait of being answerable to someone for something or being responsible for one's conduct
    irresponsibility, irresponsibleness
    a form of untrustworthiness; the trait of lacking a sense of responsibility and not feeling accountable for your actions
    singularity, uniqueness
    the quality of being one of a kind
    distinctiveness, peculiarity, speciality, specialness, specialty
    a distinguishing trait
    closeness, meanness, minginess, niggardliness, niggardness, parsimoniousness, parsimony, tightfistedness, tightness
    extreme stinginess
    a disposition to be niggardly with money
    a disposition not to be liberal (generous) with money
    stinginess resulting from a concern for your own welfare and a disregard of others
    narcism, narcissism, self-love
    an exceptional interest in and admiration for yourself
    the trait of being active and energetic and forceful
    enterprise, enterprisingness, go-ahead, initiative
    readiness to embark on bold new ventures
    ambition, ambitiousness
    a strong drive for success
    energy, get-up-and-go, push
    enterprising or ambitious drive
    the quality of being bold and enterprising
    possession, self-command, self-control, self-possession, self-will, will power, willpower
    the trait of resolutely controlling your own behavior
    freedom from wavering or indecision; constancy of resolve or conduct
    resoluteness evidenced by strength of character
    firm resoluteness in purpose or opinion or action
    bullheadedness, obstinacy, obstinance, pigheadedness, self-will, stubbornness
    resolute adherence to your own ideas or desires
    characterized by one unified purpose
    adamance, obduracy, unyieldingness
    resoluteness by virtue of being unyielding and inflexible
    decision, decisiveness
    the trait of resoluteness as evidenced by firmness of character or purpose
    determination, purpose
    the quality of being determined to do or achieve something; firmness of purpose
    steadfast resolution
    unpredictability, volatility
    the trait of being unpredictably irresolute
    indecision, indecisiveness
    the trait of irresolution; a lack of firmness of character or purpose
    self-denial, self-discipline
    the trait of practicing self discipline
    control, restraint
    discipline in personal and social activities
    indulgence, self-indulgence
    an inability to resist the gratification of whims and desires
    dissoluteness, incontinence, self-gratification
    indiscipline with regard to sensuous pleasures
    the quality of lacking restraint
    boastfulness, vainglory
    outspoken conceit
    egotism, self-importance, swelled head
    an exaggerated opinion of your own importance
    adopting a vain conceited posture
    meekness, subduedness
    a disposition to be patient and long suffering
    judiciousness, sagaciousness, sagacity
    the trait of forming opinions by distinguishing and evaluating
    initiation, knowledgeability, knowledgeableness
    wisdom as evidenced by the possession of knowledge
    diplomacy, statecraft, statesmanship
    wisdom in the management of public affairs
    discernment, discretion
    the trait of judging wisely and objectively
    indiscretion, injudiciousness
    the trait of being injudicious
    absurdity, fatuity, fatuousness, silliness
    a ludicrous folly
    the quality of being asinine; stupidity combined with stubbornness
    objectiveness, objectivity
    judgment based on observable phenomena and uninfluenced by emotions or personal prejudices
    subjectiveness, subjectivity
    judgment based on individual personal impressions and feelings and opinions rather than external facts
    tendency to believe readily
    suspicion, suspiciousness
    being of a suspicious nature
    the trait of being meticulous about matters of taste or style
    neatness, tidiness
    the trait of being neat and orderly
    habitual uncleanliness
    messiness, untidiness
    the trait of being untidy and messy
    social deportment
    conduct as a citizen
    flamboyantly reckless and boastful behavior
    correctitude, properness, propriety
    correct or appropriate behavior
    improperness, impropriety
    an improper demeanor
    manageability, manageableness
    capable of being managed or controlled
    the trait of being agreeably submissive and manageable
    domestication, tameness
    the attribute of having been domesticated
    amenability, amenableness, cooperativeness
    the trait of being cooperative
    the trait of being willing to obey
    recalcitrance, recalcitrancy, refractoriness, unmanageableness
    the trait of being unmanageable
    an intractably barbarous or uncultivated state of nature
    defiance, rebelliousness
    intentionally contemptuous behavior or attitude
    fractiousness, unruliness, wilfulness, willfulness
    the trait of being prone to disobedience and lack of discipline
    likely to stop abruptly and unexpectedly
    mulishness, obstinacy, obstinance, stubbornness
    the trait of being difficult to handle or overcome
    the trait of being unwilling to obey
    manner, personal manner
    a way of acting or behaving
    inappropriately childish behavior or manner
    the behavior or manner expected of or appropriate to an adult
    type of:
    an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity
  2. noun
    a genetically determined or inherited characteristic
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    type of:
    an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity
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