character - definition and synonyms


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  1. 1
    [countable] [usually singular] the qualities that make up someone’s personality

    Stinginess with money was one aspect of Steve’s character that I didn’t like.

    in/out of character (=typical/not typical of someone’s usual behaviour):

    I can’t understand why Simon refused to help; it seems so out of character.

    1. a.
      [singular] the qualities that people from a particular place are believed to have

      He understood so much about our national character.

  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] the qualities that make something clearly different from anything else

    Each of his books has its own distinctive character.

    The two villages are similar in size but very different in character.

    character of:

    The house was not in keeping with the character of the surrounding area.

    1. a.
      a quality that makes something interesting or attractive

      a traditional hotel with a lot of character and charm

  3. 3
    [countable/uncountable] someone’s reputation, especially when this shows how honest or reliable they are

    How dare she cast a slur on my character?

    My client is a man of good character.

  4. 4
    [countable] a person in a book, play, film etc
    the main/central character:

    The film’s central character is played by George Clooney.

  5. 5
    [countable] a person of a particular type

    McMahon is one of the sport’s most colourful characters.

    a reformed/changed character:

    Jake used to be pretty wild, but he’s a reformed character now.

    1. a.
      informal someone with special qualities that make them different from most people and interesting to know

      She was quite a character, I can tell you.

      a real character:

      You’d like Joe, he’s a real character.

  6. 6
    [uncountable] good personal qualities, especially the qualities of being brave and determined when doing something difficult

    She had to stand up and make a speech to 500 people, so it was quite a test of character.

    The team showed real character in coming back from two goals down.

    character-building (=helping to develop someone’s character):

    the idea of competitive sport as a character-building activity

  7. 7
    [countable] a letter, number, or symbol that is written, printed, or used in computer programs

    The password may be up to 12 characters long.