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characterization (n.)

1560s, "marking out of a precise form" (now obsolete); see characterize + noun ending -ation. Meaning "description of essential features, portrayal in words" is from 1814.

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Definitions of characterization from WordNet

characterization (n.)
a graphic or vivid verbal description;
the pamphlet contained brief characterizations of famous Vermonters
Synonyms: word picture / word-painting / delineation / depiction / picture / characterisation
characterization (n.)
the act of describing distinctive characteristics or essential features;
the media's characterization of Al Gore as a nerd
Synonyms: characterisation
characterization (n.)
acting the part of a character on stage; dramatically representing the character by speech and action and gesture;
Synonyms: portrayal / enactment / personation
From wordnet.princeton.edu