Pronunciation: (kar'ik-tur), [key]
1. the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person or thing.
2. one such feature or trait; characteristic.
3. moral or ethical quality: a man of fine, honorable character.
4. qualities of honesty, courage, or the like; integrity: It takes character to face up to a bully.
5. reputation: a stain on one's character.
6. good repute.
7. an account of the qualities or peculiarities of a person or thing.
8. a person, esp. with reference to behavior or personality: a suspicious character.
9. Informal.an odd, eccentric, or unusual person.
10. a person represented in a drama, story, etc.
11. a part or role, as in a play or film.
12. a symbol as used in a writing system, as a letter of the alphabet.
13. the symbols of a writing system collectively.
14. a significant visual mark or symbol.
15. status or capacity: the character of a justice of the peace.
16. a written statement from an employer concerning the qualities of a former employee.
17. Literature.(esp. in 17th- and 18th-century England) a formal character sketch or descriptive analysis of a particular human virtue or vice as represented in a person or type. Cf. character sketch.
18. Genetics.any trait, function, structure, or substance of an organism resulting from the effect of one or more genes as modified by the environment.
a. any symbol, as a number, letter, punctuation mark, etc., that represents data and that, when encoded, is usable by a machine.
b. one of a set of basic symbols that singly or in a series of two or more represents data and, when encoded, is usable in a computer.
20. a style of writing or printing.
21. Rom. Cath. Theol.the ineffaceable imprint received on the soul through the sacraments of baptism, confirmation, and ordination.
22. (formerly) a cipher or cipher message.
23. in character,
a. in harmony with one's personal character or disposition: Such behavior is not in character for him.
b. in accordance with the role or personality assumed in a performance: an actor in character.
24. out of character,
a. out of harmony with one's personal character or disposition: Her remarks were out of character.
b. away from the role or personality assumed in a performance: The actor stepped out of character.
a. (of a part or role) representing a personality type, esp. by emphasizing distinctive traits, as language, mannerisms, physical makeup, etc.
b. (of an actor or actress) acting or specializing in such roles.
1. to portray; describe.
2. to engrave; inscribe.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.