Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun [countable] characteristic pronunciation in American English /ˌkerəktəˈrɪstɪk/ 
Word Forms

Related meanings

  1. a particular quality or feature that is typical of someone or something

    In the future parents may be able to choose their children's physical characteristics.

    the main/defining/distinguishing characteristic:

    A purple rash is one of the distinguishing characteristics of the disease.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of characteristic


web content which is specifically intended to make Facebook users click the 'Like' button associated with it

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


the possibility of Greece leaving the Eurozone …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog