Pronunciation: (kar"ik-tu-ris'tik),[key] —adj. Also,char"ac•ter•is'ti•cal.pertaining to, constituting, or indicating the character or peculiar quality of a person or thing; typical; distinctive: Red and gold are the characteristic colors of autumn.
—n. 1. a distinguishing feature or quality: Generosity is his chief characteristic. 2. Math. a. the integral part of a common logarithm. Cf. mantissa. b. the exponent of 10 in a number expressed in scientific notation.
c. the smallest positive integer n such that each element of a given ring added to itself n times results in 0.