from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Being a feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing; distinctive: heard my friend's characteristic laugh; the stripes that are characteristic of the zebra.
- n. A feature that helps to identify, tell apart, or describe recognizably; a distinguishing mark or trait.
- n. Mathematics The integral part of a logarithm as distinguished from the mantissa: The characteristic of the logarithm 6.3214 is 6.
- n. Mathematics The least number of times the multiplicative identity in a ring needs to be added to itself to reach the additive identity, or, if the additive identity is never reached, zero. The integers have a characteristic of zero; the integers modulus 12 have a characteristic of 12.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. being a distinguishing feature of a person or thing
- n. a distinguishable feature of a person or thing
- n. the integer part of a logarithm
- n. the distinguishing features of a navigational light on a lighthouse etc by which it can be identified (colour, pattern of flashes etc)
- n. The minimum number of times that the unit of a field must be added unto itself in order to yield that field's zero, or, if that minimum natural number does not exist, then (the integer) zero.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Pertaining to, or serving to constitute, the character; showing the character, or distinctive qualities or traits, of a person or thing; peculiar; distinctive.
- n. A distinguishing trait, quality, or property; an element of character; that which characterized.
- n. The integral part (whether positive or negative) of a logarithm.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pertaining to, constituting, or indicating the character; exhibiting the peculiar qualities of a person or thing; peculiar; distinctive: as, a characteristic distinction; with characteristic generosity, he emptied his purse.
- Relative to a characteristic or characteristics in sense II., 2 or .
- n. That which serves to characterize, or which constitutes or indicates the character; anything that distinguishes one person or thing or place from another; a distinctive feature.
- n. In mathematics: The index or integer part of an artificial or Briggsian logarithm. See logarithm. A number, one of a set of numbers, μ, ν, etc., referring to an i-way spread of figures of a given kind, and such that the number of these figures which satisfy any i-fold condition is equal to aμ + bν +, etc., where a, b, etc., are whole numbers depending upon the nature of this condition. This definition, given by Schubert in 1879, is a generalization of that given by Chasles in 1864. Any number related in a remarkable way to a figure: a use of the term not allowed by careful writers, A number referring to a higher singularity of an algebraical curve or surface, and expressing how many simple singularities of a given kind it replaces, The rational integral function (in its lowest terms) whose vanishing expresses the satisfaction of the condition of which it is the characteristic.
- n. In philology See characteristic letter or sound, above.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. any measurable property of a device measured under closely specified conditions
- n. a prominent attribute or aspect of something
- n. a distinguishing quality
- n. the integer part (positive or negative) of the representation of a logarithm; in the expression log 643 = 2.808 the characteristic is 2
- adj. typical or distinctive
From Ancient Greek χαρακτηριστικός (kharaktēristikos), from χαρακτηρίζω (kharaktērizō, "to designate by a characteristic mark"), from χαρακτήρ (kharaktēr, "a mark, character"). (Wiktionary)