Etymology
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characterize (v.)

1590s, "engrave, write," a back-formation from characterization, or else from Medieval Latin characterizare, from Greek kharaktērizein "designate by a characteristic mark," from kharaktēr (see character). The meaning "describe the qualities of" is recorded from 1630s; the sense of "be characteristic of" is from 1744; that of "impart a special stamp or character to" is from 1807. Related: Characterized; characterizing.

updated on November 25, 2022

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