The DICT Development Group
4 definitions found
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
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.]
1. A distinctive mark; a letter, figure, or symbol.
It were much to be wished that there were throughout
the world but one sort of character for each letter
to express it to the eye. --Holder.
2. Style of writing or printing; handwriting; the peculiar
form of letters used by a particular person or people; as,
an inscription in the Runic character.
You know the character to be your brother's? --Shak.
3. The peculiar quality, or the sum of qualities, by which a
person or a thing is distinguished from others; the stamp
impressed by nature, education, or habit; that which a
person or thing really is; nature; disposition.
The character or that dominion. --Milton.
Know well each Ancient's proper character;
His fable, subject, scope in every page;
Religion, Country, genius of his Age. --Pope.
A man of . . . thoroughly subservient character.
4. Strength of mind; resolution; independence; individuality;
as, he has a great deal of character.
5. Moral quality; the principles and motives that control the
life; as, a man of character; his character saves him from
6. Quality, position, rank, or capacity; quality or conduct
with respect to a certain office or duty; as, in the
miserable character of a slave; in his character as a
magistrate; her character as a daughter.
7. The estimate, individual or general, put upon a person or
thing; reputation; as, a man's character for truth and
veracity; to give one a bad character.
This subterraneous passage is much mended since
Seneca gave so bad a character of it. --Addison.
8. A written statement as to behavior, competency, etc.,
given to a servant. [Colloq.]
9. A unique or extraordinary individuality; a person
characterized by peculiar or notable traits; a person who
illustrates certain phases of character; as, Randolph was
a character; C[ae]sar is a great historical character.
10. One of the persons of a drama or novel.
Note: "It would be well if character and reputation were used
distinctively. In truth, character is what a person is;
reputation is what he is supposed to be. Character is
in himself, reputation is in the minds of others.
Character is injured by temptations, and by wrongdoing;
reputation by slanders, and libels. Character endures
throughout defamation in every form, but perishes when
there is a voluntary transgression; reputation may last
through numerous transgressions, but be destroyed by a
single, and even an unfounded, accusation or
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :
Character \Char"ac*ter\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Charactered.]
1. To engrave; to inscribe. [R.]
These trees shall be my books.
And in their barks my thoughts I 'll character.
2. To distinguish by particular marks or traits; to describe;
to characterize. [R.] --Mitford.
From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :
633 Moby Thesaurus words for "character":
Adamite, Altmann theory, DNA, De Vries theory, Galtonian theory,
Mendelianism, Mendelism, RNA, Roscius, VIP, Verworn theory,
Weismann theory, Weismannism, Wiesner theory, abnormal, accent,
accent mark, acclaim, actor, actress, advocacy, advocating,
advocation, affection, alien, allele, allelomorph, alphabet,
alphabetic character, alphabetize, animus, antagonist, antihero,
aptitude, arbitrary, aroma, arrowhead, assured probity, attribute,
atypical, autolithograph, bad guy, badge, banner, bar, barnstormer,
bastard, bat, be a printmaker, being, bent, bias, big shot,
big-timer, bigwig, binary digit, bird, birth, birthmark, bit,
bit part, blamelessness, blood, body, body-build, brand, breed,
bring to life, bugger, cachet, cameo, cancel, capacity, capitalize,
card, carve, case, cast, cat, catalog, cataloging,
catch a likeness, celebrity, certificate of character, chap,
character actor, character man, character reference,
character sketch, character woman, characteristic, characteristics,
characterization, characterize, chart, chief, child actor, chisel,
chromatid, chromatin, chromosome, cipher, clan, cleanness,
clothing, color, complexion, composition, condition, configuration,
constituents, constitution, courage, cove, crackpot, crank, crasis,
crease, creature, credential, cribble, crosshatch, cue, cuneiform,
customer, custos, cut, decency, delineate, delineation,
demotic character, denomination, depict, depiction, describe,
description, designation, details, determinant, determinative,
determiner, device, dharma, diagram, diathesis, differentia,
differential, digit, dignitary, direct, diseur, diseuse,
disposition, distinction, distinctive feature, dot, dramatizer,
draw, duck, duty, earmark, earthling, eccentric, eccentricity,
eclat, emblem, eminence, enchase, endowment, engrave, erectness,
erratic, estimableness, ethos, eugenics, evocation, evoke,
expected, express, expression mark, factor, fairness, fame,
famousness, fanatic, fat part, feather, feature, feeder, feller,
fellow, fermata, fiber, figure, fitting, flake, flavor, foil,
footing, form, frame, freak, function, furrow, gene, genesiology,
genetic code, genetics, genius, genre, genus, give words to, glory,
good character, goodness, grain, grammalogue, graph, grapheme,
graphic account, grave, groove, groundling, gust, guy, habit,
hallmark, hand, hatch, head, heavy, hereditability, heredity,
heritability, heritage, hermit, hero, heroine, hieratic symbol,
hieroglyph, hieroglyphic, hieroglyphics, high ideals,
high principles, high-mindedness, hiragana, histrio, histrion,
hit off, hobo, hold, homo, honesty, honor, honorableness, hue,
human, human being, humor, humors, ideogram, ideograph, idiocrasy,
idiosyncrasy, ilk, image, imagery, immaculacy, impress, impression,
in character, in keeping, inborn capacity, incise, inclination,
index, indicant, indicator, individual, individualism,
individuality, ingenue, inheritability, inheritance, initial,
inscribe, insignia, integrity, intellect, intelligence,
irreproachability, irreproachableness, itemization, jasper, job,
joker, justice, justness, juvenile, kana, katakana, key signature,
keynote, kidney, kin, kind, kook, kudos, label, lad, lead,
lead role, leading lady, leading man, leading woman, leaning,
letter, letter of introduction, lexigraphic character, life,
ligature, limn, limning, line, lineaments, lines, lithograph,
living soul, logogram, logograph, lone wolf, loner, loony, lot,
make, make prints, makeup, man, manner, mannerism, map, mark,
marking, matinee idol, matrocliny, maverick, measure, mental set,
meshuggenah, metronomic mark, mettle, mime, mimer, mimic, mind,
mind-set, mold, monogram, monologist, moral excellence,
moral strength, morality, mortal, mummer, nabob, name, natural,
nature, nobility, nonconformist, normal, nose, notability, notate,
notation, note, notoriety, notoriousness, number, numeral, numero,
nut, odd fellow, oddball, oddity, odor, office, ogham, one,
original, out of character, outline, outsider, paint, pantomime,
pantomimist, pariah, part, particularity, particularization, party,
patrocliny, patronage, pause, peculiar, peculiarity, person,
personage, personality, persuasion, pharmacogenetics, phonetic,
phonetic character, phonetic symbol, photograph, phylum, physique,
pictogram, pictograph, pictographic character, picture, picturize,
piece, place, playactor, player, point, popularity, portrait,
portraiture, portray, portrayal, position, predilection,
predisposition, preference, presa, principles, print, probity,
proclivity, profile, propensity, proper, property, protagonist,
protean actor, province, publicity, pureness, purity, quality,
queer duck, queer fish, queer specimen, quirk, quiz, race, radical,
rank, rara avis, recessive character, reciter, reclame, recluse,
recognition, recommend, recommendation, rectitude, reference,
register, relation, render, rendering, rendition, renown,
replication, report, represent, representation, representative,
reputability, reputation, repute, resolution, respectability,
righteousness, role, rub, rune, savor, schematize, score, scrape,
scratch, screwball, sculpture, seal, segno, set, set forth, shape,
shorthand, side, sigil, sign, signal, signature, single,
singularity, situation, sketch, slant, slur, smack, solitary,
somatotype, somebody, someone, sort, soubrette, soul, specialty,
species, specification, spirit, spook, stage performer,
stage player, stainlessness, stamp, standing, state, station,
status, stipple, stooge, straight man, straight part, strain,
strange duck, streak, stripe, stroller, strolling player, stud,
style, suchness, suitable, supporting character, supporting role,
sure sign, swell, syllabic, symbol, symbolize, symptom, system,
taint, take a rubbing, tang, taste, telltale sign, tellurian,
temper, temperament, tempo mark, tendency, tenor, terran,
testimonial, the bubble reputation, the like of, the likes of,
theatrical, thespian, tie, time signature, title role, token, tone,
tool, trace, trace out, trace over, trait, tramp, transcribe,
transliterate, tribe, trick, trouper, turn, turn of mind, twist,
type, typical, uncharacteristic, unexpected, unfitting,
unimpeachability, unimpeachableness, uniqueness, unspottedness,
untypical, uprightness, upstandingness, utility man, variety, vein,
vignette, villain, vinculum, virtue, virtuousness,
vivid description, vogue, voucher, walk-on, walking part, warp,
way, wedge, weirdo, word letter, word painting, worldling,
worthiness, write, writing, written character, zealot, zombie
From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, Revised 6th Ed (1856) :
CHARACTER, evidence. The opinion generally entertained of a person derived
from the common re 'port of the people who are acquainted with him. 3 Serg.
& R. 336; 3 Mass. 192; 3 Esp. C. 236.
2. There are three classes of cases on which the moral character and
conduct of a person in society may be used in proof before a jury, each
resting upon particular and distinct grounds. Such evidence is admissible,
1st. To afford a presumption that a particular party has not been guilty of
a criminal act. 2d. To affect the damages in particular cases, where their
amount depends on the character and conduct of any individual; and, 3d. To
impeach or confirm the veracity of a witness.
3.-1. Where the guilt of an accused party is doubtful, and the
character of the supposed agent is involved in the question, a presumption
of innocence arises from his former conduct in society, as evidenced by his
general character, since it is not probable that a person of known probity
and humanity, would commit a dishonest or outrageous act in the particular
instance. Such presumptions, however, are so remote from fact, and it is
frequently so difficult to estimate a person's real character, that
they are entitled to little weight, except in doubtful cases. Since the law
considers a presumption of this nature to be admissible, it is in principle
admissible 'Whenever a reasonable presumption arises from it, as to the fact
in question; in practice it is admitted whenever the character of the party
is involved in the issue. See 2 St. Tr. 1038 1 Coxes Rep. 424; 5 Serg. & R.
352 3 Bibb, R. 195; 2 Bibb, R. 286; 5 Day, R. 260; 5 Esp. C. 13; 3 Camp. C.
519; 1 Camp. C. 460; Str. R. 925. Tha. Cr. Cas. 230; 5 Port. 382.
4.-2. In some instances evidence in disparagement of character is
admissible, not in order to prove or disprove the commission of a particular
fact, but with a view to damages. In actions for criminal conversation with
the plaintiff's wife, evidence may be given of the wife's general bad
character, for want of chastity, and even of particular acts of adultery
committed by her, previous to her intercourse with the defendant. B. N. P.
27, 296; 12 Mod. 232; 3 Esp. C. 236. See 5 Munf. 10. In actions for slander
and libel, when the defendant has not justified, evidence of the plaintiff's
bad character has also been admitted. 3 Camp. C. 251; 1 M. & S. 284; 2 Esp.
C. 720; 2 Nott & M'Cord, 511; 1 Nott & M'Cord, 268; and see 11 Johns. R. 38;
1 Root, R. 449; 1 Johns. R. 46; 6 Penna. St. Rep. 170. The ground of
admitting such evidence is, that a person of disparaged fame is not entitled
to the same measure of damages with one whose character is unblemished.
When, however, the defendant justifies the slander, it seems to be doubtful
whether the evidence of reports as to the conduct and character of the
plaintiff can be received. See 1 M. & S. 286, n (a) 3 Mass. R. 553 1 Pick.
R. 19. When evidence is admitted touching the general character of a party,
it is manifest that it is to be confined to matters in reference to the
nature of the, charge against him. 2 Wend. 352.
5.-3. The party against whom a witness is called, may disprove the
fact& stated by him, or may examine other witnesses as to his general
character; but they will not be allowed to speak of particular facts or
parts of his conduct. B. N. P. 296. For example, evidence of the general
character of a prosecutrix for a rape, may be given, as that she was a
street walker; but evidence of specific acts of criminality cannot be
admitted. 3 Carr. & P. 589. The regular mode is to inquire whether the
witness under examination has the means of knowing the former witness
general character, and whether from such knowledge he would believe, him on
his oath. 4 St. Tr. 693; 4 Esp. C. 102. In answer to such evidence against
character, the other party may cross-examine the witness as to his means of
knowledge, and the grounds of his opinion; or he may attack such witness
general character, and by fresh evidence support the character of his own. 2
Stark. C. 151; Id. 241; St. Ev. pt. 4, 1753 to 1758; 1 Phil. Ev. 229. A
party cannot give evidence to confirm the good character of a witness,
unless his general character has been impugned by his antagonist. 9 Watts,
R. 124. See, in general, as to character, Phil. Ev. Index, tit. Character;
Stark. Ev. pl. 4, 364 Swift's Ev. 140 to 144 5 Ohio R. 227; Greenl. Ev. Sec.
54; 3 Hill, R. 178 Bouv. Inst. Index, h.t.
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