L., an instrument for marking, character, Gr. , fr. to make sharp, to cut into furrows, to engrave: cf. F. caractère
- A distinctive mark; a letter, figure, or symbol.
It were much to be wished that there were throughout the world but one sort of character for each letter to express it to the eye.
- Style of writing or printing; handwriting; the peculiar form of letters used by a particular person or people; as, an inscription in the Runic character.
You know the character to be your brother's?
- The peculiar quality, or the sum of qualities, by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others; the stamp impressed by nature, education, or habit; that which a person or thing really is; nature; disposition.
The character or that dominion.
Know well each Ancient's proper character;
His fable, subject, scope in every page;
Religion, Country, genius of his Age.
A man of . . . thoroughly subservient character.
- Strength of mind; resolution; independence; individuality; as, he has a great deal of character.
- Moral quality; the principles and motives that control the life; as, a man of character; his character saves him from suspicion.
- Quality, position, rank, or capacity; quality or conduct with respect to a certain office or duty; as, in the miserable character of a slave; in his character as a magistrate; her character as a daughter.
- The estimate, individual or general, put upon a person or thing; reputation; as, a man's character for truth and veracity; to give one a bad character.
This subterraneous passage is much mended since Seneca gave so bad a character of it.
- A written statement as to behavior, competency, etc., given to a servant. Colloq.
- A unique or extraordinary individuality; a person characterized by peculiar or notable traits; a person who illustrates certain phases of character; as, Randolph was a character; Cæsar is a great historical character.
- One of the persons of a drama or novel.
✍ "It would be well if character and reputation were used distinctively. In truth, character is what a person is; reputation is what he is supposed to be. Character is in himself, reputation is in the minds of others. Character is injured by temptations, and by wrongdoing; reputation by slanders, and libels. Character endures throughout defamation in every form, but perishes when there is a voluntary transgression; reputation may last through numerous transgressions, but be destroyed by a single, and even an unfounded, accusation or aspersion."