character


character
character (n.) early 14c., from O.Fr. caractere (13c., Mod.Fr. caractère), from L. character, from Gk. kharakter "engraved mark," also "symbol or imprint on the soul," from kharassein "to engrave," from kharax "pointed stake," from PIE root *gher- "to scrape, scratch." Meaning extended by metaphor to "a defining quality."
You remember Eponina, who kept her husband alive in an underground cavern so devotedly and heroically? The force of character she showed in keeping up his spirits would have been used to hide a lover from her husband if they had been living quietly in Rome. Strong characters need strong nourishment. [Stendhal "de l'Amour," 1822]
Sense of "person in a play or novel" is first attested 1660s, in reference to the "defining qualities" he or she is given by the author. The Latin ch- spelling was restored 1500s.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • Character — • A consideration of the term as it is used in psychology and ethics Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Character     Character     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • 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.] [1913 Webster] 1. A distinctive mark; a letter, figure, or symbol. [1913 Webster] It were much to be… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Character — Character(s) may refer to: Contents 1 Art and entertainment 2 Mathematics, science and technology 3 Symbols 4 Other …   Wikipedia

  • Character — Студий …   Википедия

  • character — Fowler (1926) argued that character should not be used (1) as an alternative to forming abstract nouns in ness, ity, etc., e.g. • Every housing site has its own unique character Country Life, 1972 [instead of uniqueness or…is unique], and (2) in… …   Modern English usage

  • character — [kar′ək tər, kar′iktər] n. [ME carecter < OFr caractère < L character, an engraving instrument < Gr charaktēr < charassein, to engrave < charax, pointed stake] 1. a distinctive mark 2. a) any letter, figure, or symbol used in… …   English World dictionary

  • character — [n1] individuality appearance, aspect, attribute, badge, bent, caliber, cast, complex, complexion, constitution, crasis, disposition, emotions, estimation, ethos, frame, frame of mind, genius, grain, habit, humor, kind, makeup, mettle, mood,… …   New thesaurus

  • character — I (an individual) noun being, body, figure, human, human being, man, mortal, party, person, personage, personality, self determined being, somebody, someone II (personal quality) noun animus, aspects, attribute, bent, characteristic mood,… …   Law dictionary

  • Character — (engl.: „Charakter“ oder „Schriftzeichen“) steht für: Char (Datentyp), einen Datentyp in der Informationstechnologie Character (Album), ein Album der Metalband Dark Tranquillity Character indelebilis, untilgbares Merkmal, Begriff aus der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • character — n 1 Character, symbol, sign, mark are comparable in the specific sense of an arbitrary or conventional device that is used in writing and in printing, but is neither a word nor a phrase nor a picture. Character suggests the distinctive form or… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms


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