- Character Char"ac*ter, n. [L., an instrument for marking,
character, Gr. ?, fr. ? to make sharp, to cut into furrows,
to engrave: cf. F. caract[`e]re.]
1. A distinctive mark; a letter, figure, or symbol.
You know the character to be your brother's? --Shak. [1913 Webster]
3. 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. [1913 Webster]
The character or that dominion. --Milton. [1913 Webster]
6. 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. [1913 Webster]
9. 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; C[ae]sar is a great historical character. [1913 Webster]
10. One of the persons of a drama or novel. [1913 Webster]
Note: ``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.'' --Abbott. [1913 Webster]
The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.