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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun character:


Character is sometimes a misspelling of characters.

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Definition of the noun character

What does character mean as a name of something?

Character is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: characters

  1. an imaginary person represented in a work of fiction (play or film or story)
    • example: she is the main character in the novel
    • lexical domain: People - nouns denoting people
    • synonyms of character: fictional character / fictitious character
    • more generic terms: imaginary being / imaginary creature = a creature of the imagination
    • more specific words: protagonist / agonist = the principal character in a work of fiction
    • instances:
      • Aladdin = in the Arabian Nights a boy who acquires a magic lamp from which he can summon a genie
      • Argonaut = one of the heroes who sailed with Jason in search of the Golden Fleece
      • Babar = an imaginary elephant that appears in a series of French books for children
      • Beatrice = the woman who guided Dante through Paradise in the Divine Comedy
      • Beowulf = the legendary hero of an anonymous Old English epic poem composed in the early 8th century
      • Bluebeard = a monstrous villain who marries seven women
      • James Bond / Bond = British secret operative 007 in novels by Ian Fleming
      • Brer Rabbit = the fictional character of a rabbit who appeared in tales supposedly told by Uncle Remus and first published in 1880
      • Paul Bunyan / Bunyan = a legendary giant lumberjack of the north woods of the United States and Canada
      • John Henry = hero of American folk tales
      • Cheshire cat = a fictional cat with a broad fixed smile on its face
      • Chicken Little = a fictional character who was hit on the head with an acorn and believed that the sky was falling
      • Cinderella = a fictional young girl who is saved from her stepmother and stepsisters by her fairy godmother and a handsome prince
      • Colonel Blimp = a pompous reactionary cartoon character created by Sir David Low
      • Dracula = fictional vampire in a gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker
      • Don Quixote = the hero of a romance by Cervantes
      • El Cid = the hero of a Spanish epic poem from the 12th century
      • Fagin = a villainous Jew in a novel by Charles Dickens
      • Sir John Falstaff / Falstaff = a dissolute character in Shakespeare's plays
      • Father Brown = a Catholic priest who was the hero of detective stories by G. K. Chesterton
      • Faustus / Faust = an alchemist of German legend who sold his soul to Mephistopheles in exchange for knowledge
      • Frankenstein = the fictional Swiss scientist who was the protagonist in a gothic novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
      • Frankenstein's monster / Frankenstein = the monster created by Frankenstein in a gothic novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
      • Goofy = a cartoon character created by Walt Disney
      • Gulliver = a fictional Englishman who travels to the imaginary land of Lilliput in a satirical novel by Jonathan Swift
      • Hamlet = the hero of William Shakespeare's tragedy who hoped to avenge the murder of his father
      • Captain Horatio Hornblower / Horatio Hornblower = a fictional English admiral during the Napoleonic Wars in novels written by C. S. Forester
      • Iago = the villain in William Shakespeare's tragedy who tricked Othello into murdering his wife
      • Commissaire Maigret / Inspector Maigret = a fictional detective in novels by Georges Simenon
      • Kilroy = a nonexistent person popularized by American servicemen during World War II
      • King Lear / Lear = the hero of William Shakespeare's tragedy who was betrayed and mistreated by two of his scheming daughters
      • Lilliputian = a 6-inch tall inhabitant of Lilliput in a novel by Jonathan Swift
      • Philip Marlowe / Marlowe = tough cynical detective (one of the early detective heroes in American fiction) created by Raymond Chandler
      • Wilkins Micawber / Micawber = fictional character created by Charles Dickens
      • Mother Goose = the imaginary author of a collection of nursery rhymes
      • Mr. Moto = Japanese sleuth created by John Marquand
      • Othello = the hero of William Shakespeare's tragedy who would not trust his wife
      • Pangloss = an incurable optimist in a satire by Voltaire
      • Pantaloon = a character in the commedia dell'arte
      • Perry Mason = fictional detective in novels by Erle Stanley Gardner
      • Peter Pan = the main character in a play and novel by J. M. Barrie
      • Pied Piper of Hamelin / Pied Piper = the title character in a German folk tale and in a poem by Robert Browning
      • Pierrot = a male character in French pantomime
      • Pluto = a cartoon character created by Walt Disney
      • Huckleberry Finn / Huck Finn = a mischievous boy in a novel by Mark Twain
      • Rip van Winkle = the title character in a story by Washington Irving about a man who sleeps for 20 years and doesn't recognize the world when he wakens
      • Ruritanian = an imaginary inhabitant of Ruritania
      • Tarzan of the Apes / Tarzan = a man raised by apes who was the hero of a series of novels by Edgar Rice Burroughs
      • Tom Sawyer = the boy hero of a novel by Mark Twain
      • Uncle Remus = the fictional storyteller of tales written in the Black Vernacular and set in the South
      • Uncle Tom = a servile black character in a novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe
      • Uncle Sam = a personification of the United States government
      • Sherlock Holmes / Holmes = a fictitious detective in stories by A. Conan Doyle
      • Simon Legree = the cruel slave dealer in an anti-slavery novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe
      • Sinbad the Sailor / Sinbad = in the Arabian Nights a hero who tells of the fantastic adventures he had in his voyages
      • Snoopy = a fictional beagle in a comic strip drawn by Charles Schulz
      • Ali Baba = the fictional woodcutter who discovered that `open sesame' opened a cave in the Arabian Nights' Entertainment
      • Emile = the boy whose upbringing was described by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
      • Houyhnhnm = one of a race of intelligent horses who ruled the Yahoos in a novel by Jonathan Swift
      • Little John = legendary follower of Robin Hood
      • Little Red Riding Hood = a girl in a fairy tale who meets a wolf while going to visit her grandmother
      • Rodya Raskolnikov / Raskolnikov = a fictional character in Dostoevsky's novel `Crime and Punishment'
      • Robin Hood = legendary English outlaw of the 12th century
      • Robinson Crusoe = the hero of Daniel Defoe's novel about a shipwrecked English sailor who survives on a small tropical island
      • Rumpelstiltskin = a dwarf in one of the fairy stories of the brothers Grimm
      • Shylock = a merciless usurer in a play by Shakespeare
      • Tristram / Tristan = the nephew of the king of Cornwall who (according to legend) fell in love with his uncle's bride (Iseult) after they mistakenly drank a love potion that left them eternally in love with each other
      • Iseult / Isolde = the bride of the king of Cornwall who (according to legend) fell in love with the king's nephew (Tristan) after they mistakenly drank a love potion that left them eternally in love with each other
      • Scaramouche / Scaramouch = a stock character in commedia dell'arte depicted as a boastful coward
      • Svengali = the musician in a novel by George du Maurier who controls Trilby's singing hypnotically
      • Sweeney Todd / Todd = fictional character in a play by George Pitt
      • Trilby = singer in a novel by George du Maurier who was under the control of the hypnotist Svengali
      • Walter Mitty = fictional character created by James Thurber who daydreams about his adventures and triumphs
      • Yahoo = one of a race of brutes resembling men but subject to the Houyhnhnms in a novel by Jonathan Swift
      • King Arthur / Arthur = a legendary king of the Britons
      • Sir Galahad / Galahad = the most virtuous knight of the Round Table
      • Sir Gawain / Gawain = a nephew of Arthur and one of the knights of the Round Table
      • Guenevere / Guinevere = wife of King Arthur
      • Sir Lancelot / Lancelot = one of the knights of the Round Table
      • Merlin = the magician who acted as King Arthur's advisor
  2. a characteristic property that defines the apparent individual nature of something
    • example: the radical character of our demands
    • lexical domain: Cognitive Processes - nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents
    • synonyms of character: lineament / quality
    • more generic words: attribute / dimension / property = a construct whereby objects or individuals can be distinguished
    • more specific word: texture = the essential quality of something
  3. the inherent complex of attributes that determines a persons moral and ethical actions and reactions
    • example: education has for its object the formation of character
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • synonyms of character: fiber / fibre
    • more generic word: trait = a distinguishing feature of your personal nature
    • more specific word: spirit = a fundamental emotional and activating principle determining one's character
    • part of: personality = the complex of all the attributes--behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental--that characterize a unique individual
    • parts:
  4. an actor's portrayal of someone in a play
  5. a person of a specified kind (usually with many eccentricities)
    • examples: a real character | a strange character
    • lexical domain: People - nouns denoting people
    • synonyms of character: case / eccentric / type
    • more generic words: adult / grownup = a fully developed person from maturity onward
  6. good repute
    • example: he is a man of character
    • lexical domain: States - nouns denoting stable states of affairs
    • more generic words: reputation / repute = the state of being held in high esteem and honor
  7. a formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person's qualifications and dependability
  8. a written symbol that is used to represent speech
    • example: the Greek alphabet has 24 characters
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonyms of character: graph / grapheme / graphic symbol
    • more generic terms: printed symbol / written symbol = a written or printed symbol
    • more specific terms:
      • allograph = a variant form of a grapheme, as `m' or `M' or a handwritten version of that grapheme
      • check character = a character that is added to the end of a block of transmitted data and used to check the accuracy of the transmission
      • superscript / superior = a character or symbol set or printed or written above and immediately to one side of another character
      • subscript / inferior = a character or symbol set or printed or written beneath or slightly below and to the side of another character
      • ASCII character = any member of the standard code for representing characters by binary numbers
      • ligature = character consisting of two or more letters combined into one
      • upper-case letter / capital letter / majuscule / uppercase / capital = one of the large alphabetic characters used as the first letter in writing or printing proper names and sometimes for emphasis
      • lower-case letter / small letter / lowercase / minuscule = the characters that were once kept in bottom half of a compositor's type case
      • type = printed characters
      • percentage sign / percent sign = a sign (`%') used to indicate that the number preceding it should be understood as a proportion multiplied by 100
      • asterisk / star = a star-shaped character * used in printing
      • obelisk / dagger = a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote
      • double obelisk / double dagger / diesis = a character used in printing to indicate a cross reference or footnote
      • letter of the alphabet / alphabetic character / letter = the conventional characters of the alphabet used to represent speech
      • blank / space = a blank character used to separate successive words in writing or printing
      • phonetic symbol = a written character used in phonetic transcription of represent a particular speech sound
      • mathematical symbol = a character that is used to indicates a mathematical relation or operation
      • runic letter / rune = any character from an ancient Germanic alphabet used in Scandinavia from the 3rd century to the Middle Ages
      • pictograph = a graphic character used in picture writing
      • ideograph / ideogram = a graphic character that indicates the meaning of a thing without indicating the sounds used to say it
      • radical = a character conveying the lexical meaning of a logogram
      • stenograph = a shorthand character
  9. (genetics) an attribute (structural or functional) that is determined by a gene or group of genes
    • domain: genetic science / genetics
    • lexical domain: Attributes - nouns denoting attributes of people and objects
    • more generic word: attribute = an abstraction belonging to or characteristic of an entity
    • more specific term: unit character = a character inherited on an all-or-none basis and dependent on the presence of a single gene

Alternative definition of the noun character


  1. A being involved in the action of a story.
  2. A written or printed symbol, or letter
  3. A distinguishing feature; characteristic; A complex of mental and ethical traits marking a person or a group.
  4. A moral strength.
  5. A person with many notable or eccentric features.
  6. [mathematics] A complex number representing an element of a finite Abelian group.
  7. [computing] One of the basic elements making up a text file or string: a code representing a printing character or a control character.
  8. [informal] A person or individual, especially one who is unknown or raises suspicions.

Definition of the verb character

What does character mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: charactered | charactering | characters

  1. engrave or inscribe characters on
    • lexical domain: Contact - verbs of touching, hitting, tying, digging
    • more generic words: engrave / grave / inscribe / scratch = carve, cut, or etch into a material or surface

Phrases with Character

Phrases starting with the word Character:

  1. character set
  2. Character Cell
  3. character actor
  4. Character class
  5. Character theory

Phrases ending with the word Character:

  1. In Character
  2. Asa Character
  3. sex character
  4. Base Character
  5. Lead Character
  6. Null character
  7. unit character
  8. ascii character
  9. check character
  10. Round Character
  11. Stock character
  12. Title Character
  13. Escape character
  14. Out of Character
  15. Player character

View more phrases with the word Character in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Character

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewHandbook on C++ Language (2012)

by Sangita Sardana

islower int islower (int character); It tests whether the character is a lower case character.

Google previewIn Memoriam (1919)

Arthur Dixon, 1837-1917

character is a growth. Reputation comes from the outside; character rises up from within. Reputation is what you have when you come into a town like Chicago; character is what you have when you go out.

Google previewThe School News and Practical Educator (1898)

The character is a sharp (#) on d, which causes it to represent a tone a half step higher than d, giving us the chromatic tone fe. The three following £matics in the same score are the same as the rSt. Q. In “Brightly Gleams Our Banner” what is ...

Google previewCollector's Originality Guide Chevrolet Camaro 1970-1981 (2008)

by Jim Schild

The second character is a number that represents the series, with a 2 for Camaro. The third digit is a number representing the engine. An odd number 3 is a six- cylinder, and an even number 4 is a V-8. The fourth and The Fisher Body number ...

Google previewSchool and Home Education (1889)

Character is the result of conscious struggle.

Google previewA Dictionary of Thoughts (1891)

Being a Cyclopedia of Laconic Quotations from the Best Authors, Both Ancient and Modern

Character is a diamond that scratches every other stone. — Bartol.

A man's character is the reality of himself. — Mis reputation is the...

Google previewLEGO NINJAGO Character Encyclopedia, Updated Edition (2016)

by DK

LEGO® NINJAGOTM: Character Encyclopedia, a New York Times bestseller, has been updated and expanded with 48 brand-new pages of LEGO NINJAGO minifigures and sets, making it the ultimate book for your little ninja.

Google previewDictionary of Psychopathology (2012)

by Henry Kellerman

CHARACTER Frequently used interchangeably with personality. Yet, personality is the more inclusive term, implying, under its psychological umbrella, levels and aspects ...

Google previewLondon Encyclopaedia; Or, Universal Dictionary of Science, Art, Literature and Practical Mechanics (1829)

Comprising a Popular View of the Present State of Knowledge

Character as Food. s|Camelus glama . Glama . . . East . Like mutton. vicugma . Viccunna . . . . Excellent guanaco . Guanaco . ! - - arcuanus . . Chilihucque . S. America Idem. Moschus moschiferus . Tibetian musk . Asia . Moderate. americanus .

Google previewThe Encyclopedia of the Novel (2014)

Although this ethical and humanist mode of criticism is still the dominant way of understanding character, both in literary criticism and in popular understandings, it has been extensively challenged. An influential essay by the British critic L. C. ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Character

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Photos about Character

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If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of SAINT-PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JUNE 3, 2018 - Person in costume of character of cartoon "Minions" distributes flyers on the street of St-PetersburgSmall photo of Alien character from Alien versus Predator. In the Museum of Film Legends in Prague 30.3.2018.Small photo of Alien character from Alien versus Predator. In the Museum of Film Legends in Prague 30.3.2018.Small photo of Alien character from Alien versus Predator. In the Museum of Film Legends in Prague 30.3.2018.Small photo of Alien character from Alien versus Predator. In the Museum of Film Legends in Prague 30.3.2018.Small photo of character of escape roomSmall photo of character of escape room More...

Video language resources about Character

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View more videos about In Character, Character Set, good character, Null character, Character dance, Round Character, Stock character, Out of Character, Player character, character reference, Character assassination, and Optical character recognition.

See also the pronunciation examples of Character!

Sign language

Story of the Gingerbread Man in Sign Language - Character Introductions

Kindergarten class at the Sequoia School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing introducing themselves and the character they played after performing the story of ...

Quotes about Character

Some mystery should be left in the revelation of character in a play, just as a great deal of mystery is always left in the revelation of character in life, even in one's own character to himself. (Tennessee Williams)
more quotes about character...

Scrabble value of C3H4A1R1A1C3T1E1R1

The value of this 9-letter word is 16 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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