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CHARACTER

Pronunciation (US): 

 Dictionary entry overview: What does character mean? 

CHARACTER (noun)
  The noun CHARACTER has 9 senses:

1. an imaginary person represented in a work of fiction (play or film or story)
2. a characteristic property that defines the apparent individual nature of something
3. the inherent complex of attributes that determine a persons moral and ethical actions and reactions
4. an actor's portrayal of someone in a play
5. a person of a specified kind (usually with many eccentricities)
6. good repute
7. a formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person's qualifications and dependability
8. a written symbol that is used to represent speech
9. (genetics) an attribute (structural or functional) that is determined by a gene or group of genes

  Familiarity information: CHARACTER used as a noun is familiar.


CHARACTER (verb)
  The verb CHARACTER has 1 sense:

1. engrave or inscribe characters on

  Familiarity information: CHARACTER used as a verb is very rare.


 Dictionary entry details 


CHARACTER (noun)


Sense 1character [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

An imaginary person represented in a work of fiction (play or film or story)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting people

Synonyms:

fictitious character; fictional character; character

Context example:

she is the main character in the novel

Hypernyms ("character" is a kind of...):

imaginary being; imaginary creature (a creature of the imagination; a person that exists only in legends or myths or fiction)

Instance hyponyms:

Holmes; Sherlock Holmes (a fictitious detective in stories by A. Conan Doyle)

Simon Legree (the cruel slave dealer in an anti-slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe)

Sinbad; Sinbad the Sailor (in the Arabian Nights a hero who tells of the fantastic adventures he had in his voyages)

Snoopy (a fictional beagle in a comic strip drawn by Charles Schulz)

Ali Baba (the fictional woodcutter who discovered that 'open sesame' opened a cave in the Arabian Nights' Entertainment)

Emile (the boy whose upbringing was described by Jean-Jacques Rousseau)

agonist; protagonist (the principal character in a work of fiction)

Houyhnhnm (one of a race of intelligent horses who ruled the Yahoos in a novel by Jonathan Swift)

Uncle Sam (a personification of the United States government)

Uncle Tom (a servile black character in a novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe)

Uncle Remus (the fictional storyteller of tales written in the Black dialect and set in the south of the United States; the tales were first collected and published in book form in 1880)

Pied Piper; Pied Piper of Hamelin (the title character in a German folk tale and in a poem by Robert Browning)

Pierrot (a male character in French pantomime; usually dressed in white with a whitened face)

Pluto (a cartoon character created by Walt Disney)

Huck Finn; Huckleberry Finn (a mischievous boy in a novel by Mark Twain)

Rip van Winkle (the title character in a story by Washington Irving about a man who sleeps for 20 years and doesn't recognize the world when he wakens)

Ruritanian (an imaginary inhabitant of Ruritania)

Tarzan; Tarzan of the Apes (a man raised by apes who was the hero of a series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs)

Tom Sawyer (the boy hero of a novel by Mark Twain)

Little John (legendary follower of Robin Hood; noted for his size and strength)

Little Red Riding Hood (a girl in a fairy tale who meets a wolf while going to visit her grandmother)

Trilby (singer in a novel by George du Maurier who was under the control of the hypnotist Svengali)

Walter Mitty (fictional character created by James Thurber who daydreams about his adventures and triumphs)

Yahoo (one of a race of brutes resembling men but subject to the Houyhnhnms in a novel by Jonathan Swift)

Arthur; King Arthur (a legendary king of the Britons (possibly based on a historical figure in the 6th century but the story has been retold too many times to be sure); said to have led the Knights of the Round Table at Camelot)

Galahad; Sir Galahad ((Arthurian legend) the most virtuous knight of the Round Table; was able to see the Holy Grail)

Gawain; Sir Gawain ((Arthurian legend) a nephew of Arthur and one of the knights of the Round Table)

Guenevere; Guinevere ((Arthurian legend) wife of King Arthur; in some versions of the legend she became Lancelot's lover and that led to the end of the Knights of the Round Table)

Lancelot; Sir Lancelot ((Arthurian legend) one of the knights of the Round Table; friend of King Arthur until (according to some versions of the legend) he became the lover of Arthur's wife Guinevere)

Sweeney Todd; Todd (fictional character in a play by George Pitt; a barber who murdered his customers)

Svengali (the musician in a novel by George du Maurier who controls Trilby's singing hypnotically)

Raskolnikov; Rodya Raskolnikov (a fictional character in Dostoevsky's novel 'Crime and Punishment'; he kills old women because he believes he is beyond the bounds of good or evil)

Robin Hood (legendary English outlaw of the 12th century; said to have robbed the rich to help the poor)

Robinson Crusoe (the hero of Daniel Defoe's novel about a shipwrecked English sailor who survives on a small tropical island)

Rumpelstiltskin (a dwarf in one of the fairy stories of the brothers Grimm; tells a woman he will not hold her to a promise if she can guess his name and when she discovers it he is so furious that he destroys himself)

Shylock (a merciless usurer in a play by Shakespeare)

Tristan; Tristram ((Middle Ages) the nephew of the king of Cornwall who (according to legend) fell in love with his uncle's bride (Iseult) after they mistakenly drank a love potion that left them eternally in love with each other)

Iseult; Isolde ((Middle Ages) the bride of the king of Cornwall who (according to legend) fell in love with the king's nephew (Tristan) after they mistakenly drank a love potion that left them eternally in love with each other)

Scaramouch; Scaramouche (a stock character in commedia dell'arte depicted as a boastful coward)

Merlin ((Arthurian legend) the magician who acted as King Arthur's advisor)

Peter Pan (the main character in a play by J. M. Barrie; a boy who won't grow up)

Perry Mason (fictional detective in novels by Erle Stanley Gardner)

Chicken Little (a fictional character who was hit on the head with an acorn and believed that the sky was falling)

Cinderella (a fictional young girl who is saved from her stepmother and stepsisters by her fairy godmother and a handsome prince)

Colonel Blimp (a pompous reactionary cartoon character created by Sir David Low)

Dracula (fictional vampire in a gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker)

Don Quixote (the hero of a romance by Cervantes; chivalrous but impractical)

El Cid (the hero of a Spanish epic poem from the 12th century)

Fagin (a villainous Jew in a novel by Charles Dickens)

Falstaff; Sir John Falstaff (a dissolute character in Shakespeare's plays)

Cheshire cat (a fictional cat with a broad fixed smile on its face; created by Lewis Carroll)

John Henry (hero of American folk tales; portrayed as an enormously strong black man who worked on the railroads and died from exhaustion after winning a contest with a steam drill)

Argonaut ((Greek mythology) one of the heroes who sailed with Jason on the Argo in search of the Golden Fleece)

Babar (an imaginary elephant that appears in a series of French books for children)

Beatrice (the woman who guided Dante through Paradise in the Divine Comedy)

Beowulf (the legendary hero of an anonymous Old English epic poem composed in the early 8th century; he slays a monster and becomes king but dies fighting a dragon)

Bluebeard ((fairytale) a monstrous villain who marries seven women; he kills the first six for disobedience)

Bond; James Bond (British secret operative 007 in novels by Ian Fleming)

Brer Rabbit (the fictional character of a rabbit who appeared in tales supposedly told by Uncle Remus and first published in 1880)

Bunyan; Paul Bunyan (a legendary giant lumberjack of the north woods of the United States and Canada)

Father Brown (a Catholic priest who was the hero of detective stories by G. K. Chesterton)

Faust; Faustus (an alchemist of German legend who sold his soul to Mephistopheles in exchange for knowledge)

Lilliputian (a 6-inch tall inhabitant of Lilliput in a novel by Jonathan Swift)

Marlowe; Philip Marlowe (tough cynical detective (one of the early detective heroes in American fiction) created by Raymond Chandler)

Micawber; Wilkins Micawber (fictional character created by Charles Dickens; an eternal optimist)

Mother Goose (the imaginary author of a collection of nursery rhymes)

Mr. Moto (Japanese sleuth created by John Marquand)

Othello (the hero of William Shakespeare's tragedy who would not trust his wife)

Pangloss (an incurable optimist in a satire by Voltaire)

Pantaloon (a character in the commedia dell'arte; portrayed as a foolish old man)

King Lear; Lear (the hero of William Shakespeare's tragedy who was betrayed and mistreated by two of his scheming daughters)

Kilroy (a nonexistent person popularized by American servicemen during World War II)

Frankenstein (the fictional Swiss scientist who was the protagonist in a gothic novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley; he created a monster from parts of corpses)

Frankenstein; Frankenstein's monster (the monster created by Frankenstein in a gothic novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (the creator's name is commonly used to refer to his creation))

Goofy (a cartoon character created by Walt Disney)

Gulliver (a fictional Englishman who travels to the imaginary land of Lilliput in a satirical novel by Jonathan Swift)

Hamlet (the hero of William Shakespeare's tragedy who hoped to avenge the murder of his father)

Captain Horatio Hornblower; Horatio Hornblower (a fictional English admiral during the Napoleonic Wars in novels written by C. S. Forester)

Iago (the villain in William Shakespeare's tragedy who tricked Othello into murdering his wife)

Commissaire Maigret; Inspector Maigret (a fictional detective in novels by Georges Simenon)

Aladdin (in the Arabian Nights a boy who acquires a magic lamp from which he can summon a genie)


Sense 2character [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A characteristic property that defines the apparent individual nature of something

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Synonyms:

lineament; character; quality

Context examples:

each town has a quality all its own / the radical character of our demands

Hypernyms ("character" is a kind of...):

attribute; dimension; property (a construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "character"):

texture (the essential quality of something)


Sense 3character [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

The inherent complex of attributes that determine a persons moral and ethical actions and reactions

Classified under:

Nouns denoting attributes of people and objects

Synonyms:

fiber; fibre; character

Context example:

education has for its object the formation of character

Hypernyms ("character" is a kind of...):

trait (a distinguishing feature of your personal nature)

Meronyms (parts of "character"):

thoughtfulness (the trait of thinking carefully before acting)

responsibility; responsibleness (a form of trustworthiness; the trait of being answerable to someone for something or being responsible for one's conduct)

integrity (moral soundness)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "character"):

spirit (a fundamental emotional and activating principle determining one's character)

Holonyms ("character" is a part of...):

personality (the complex of all the attributes--behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental--that characterize a unique individual)


Sense 4character [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

An actor's portrayal of someone in a play

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents

Synonyms:

persona; theatrical role; role; character; part

Context example:

she played the part of Desdemona

Hypernyms ("character" is a kind of...):

characterization; enactment; personation; portrayal (acting the part of a character on stage; dramatically representing the character by speech and action and gesture)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "character"):

baddie; villain (the principle bad character in a film or work of fiction)

heroine (the main good female character in a work of fiction)

name part; title role (the role of the character after whom the play is named)

ingenue (the role of an innocent artless young woman in a play)

hero (the principal character in a play or movie or novel or poem)

heavy (a serious (or tragic) role in a play)

bit part; minor role (a small role)


Sense 5character [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A person of a specified kind (usually with many eccentricities)

Classified under:

Nouns denoting people

Synonyms:

eccentric; type; character; case

Context examples:

a real character / a strange character / a friendly eccentric / the capable type / a mental case

Hypernyms ("character" is a kind of...):

adult; grownup (a fully developed person from maturity onward)


Sense 6character [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Good repute

Classified under:

Nouns denoting stable states of affairs

Context example:

he is a man of character

Hypernyms ("character" is a kind of...):

reputation; repute (the state of being held in high esteem and honor)


Sense 7character [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person's qualifications and dependability

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Synonyms:

character reference; reference; character

Context example:

requests for character references are all to often answered evasively

Hypernyms ("character" is a kind of...):

good word; recommendation; testimonial (something that recommends (or expresses commendation) of a person or thing as worthy or desirable)


Sense 8character [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

A written symbol that is used to represent speech

Classified under:

Nouns denoting communicative processes and contents

Synonyms:

grapheme; graphic symbol; character

Context example:

the Greek alphabet has 24 characters

Hypernyms ("character" is a kind of...):

printed symbol; written symbol (a written or printed symbol)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "character"):

diesis; double dagger; double obelisk (a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote)

alphabetic character; letter; letter of the alphabet (the conventional characters of the alphabet used to represent speech)

blank; space (a blank character used to separate successive words in writing or printing)

phonetic symbol (a written character used in phonetic transcription of represent a particular speech sound)

mathematical symbol (a character that is used to indicates a mathematical relation or operation)

rune; runic letter (any character from an ancient Germanic alphabet used in Scandinavia from the 3rd century to the Middle Ages)

pictograph (a graphic character used in picture writing)

ideogram; ideograph (a graphic character used in ideography)

radical (a character conveying the lexical meaning of a logogram)

stenograph (a shorthand character)

dagger; obelisk (a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote)

asterisk; star (a star-shaped character * used in printing)

allograph (a variant form of a grapheme, as 'm' or 'M' or a handwritten version of that grapheme)

check character (a character that is added to the end of a block of transmitted data and used to check the accuracy of the transmission)

superior; superscript (a character or symbol set or printed or written above and immediately to one side of another character)

inferior; subscript (a character or symbol set or printed or written beneath or slightly below and to the side of another character)

ASCII character (any member of the standard code for representing characters by binary numbers)

ligature (character consisting of two or more letters combined into one)

capital; capital letter; majuscule; upper-case letter; uppercase (one of the large alphabetic characters used as the first letter in writing or printing proper names and sometimes for emphasis)

lower-case letter; lowercase; minuscule; small letter (the characters that were once kept in bottom half of a compositor's type case)

type (printed characters)

percent sign; percentage sign (a sign ('%') used to indicate that the number preceding it should be understood as a proportion multiplied by 100)


Sense 9character [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

(genetics) an attribute (structural or functional) that is determined by a gene or group of genes

Classified under:

Nouns denoting attributes of people and objects

Hypernyms ("character" is a kind of...):

attribute (an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity)

Domain category:

genetic science; genetics (the branch of biology that studies heredity and variation in organisms)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "character"):

unit character ((genetics) a character inherited on an all-or-none basis and dependent on the presence of a single gene)


CHARACTER (verb)


Sense 1character [BACK TO TOP]

Meaning:

Engrave or inscribe characters on

Classified under:

Verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging

Hypernyms (to "character" is one way to...):

engrave; grave; inscribe; scratch (carve, cut, or etch into a material or surface)

Sentence frame:

Somebody ----s something


 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Never, Never... allow anyone to persuade you to suspend your common sense." (English proverb)

"If a man is to do something more than human, he must have more than human powers." (Native American proverb, tribe unknown)

"Who does not go with you, go with him." (Arabic proverb)

"Even the king saves his money." (Corsican proverb)

 CHARACTER: related words searches 

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