character


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shifty-looking

Having or of an untrustworthy, dubious, or deceptive appearance. There are always a bunch of shifty-looking characters around this part of town at night, so let's not linger! I didn't feel great about the deal when John's shifty-looking business partner came along to sign the papers.

original character

The initial and/or intended meaning or state of something, especially if it has changed over time. Please be sure to keep the original character of the statement you are paraphrasing. I have to translate this story, and I have no idea if I'm capturing its original character. The renovations were done in keeping with the original character of the building.
See also: character

character assassination

Fig. seriously harming someone's reputation. The review was more than a negative appraisal of his performance. It was total character assassination.
See also: character

in character

Fig. typical of someone's behavior. For Tom to shout that way wasn't at all in character. He's usually quite pleasant. It was quite in character for Sally to walk away angry.
See also: character

out of character

 
1. unlike one's usual behavior. Ann's remark was quite out of character. It was out of character for Ann to act so stubborn.
2. inappropriate for the character that an actor is playing. Bill went out of character when the audience started giggling. Bill played the part so well that it was hard for him to get out of character after the performance.
See also: character, of, out

shady character

 and a suspicious character
Fig. an untrustworthy person; a person who makes people suspicious. There is a suspicious character lurking about in the hallway. Please call the police.
See also: character, shady

in character

Consistent with someone's general personality or behavior. For example, Her failure to answer the invitation was completely in character. This usage dates from the mid-1700s, as does the antonym, out of character, as in It was out of character for him to refuse the assignment.
See also: character

in character

Consistent with someone's general character or behavior: behavior that was totally in character.
See also: character

out of character

Inconsistent with someone's general character or behavior: a response so much out of character that it amazed me.
See also: character, of, out
References in classic literature ?
His feudal tower must arise in due majesty; the figures which he introduces must have the costume and character of their age; the piece must represent the peculiar features of the scene which he has chosen for his subject, with all its appropriate elevation of rock, or precipitate descent of cataract.
Character repudiates intellect, yet excites it; and character passes into thought, is published so, and then is ashamed before new flashes of moral worth.
It would have been inconsistent with her character if in these visits she had been pursuing a chimera; her project was not chimerical at all; she was building on a firm basis--on her knowledge of the character of the Epanchin family, especially Aglaya, whom she studied closely.
It is depressing to see so really noble a character as Catherine soured, as we feel, and lowered, as time goes on, from the happy resignation of the first volume (in which solemn, beautiful, and entire, and so very real, she is like a poem of Wordsworth) down to the mere passivity of the third volume, and the closing scene of Robert Elsmere's days, very exquisitely as this episode of unbelieving yet saintly biography has been conceived and executed.
Having thus provided for my support in prison, I was enabled to introduce myself to my fellow-debtors, and to study character for the new series of prints, on the very first day of my incarceration, with my mind quite at ease.
Perhaps the correct way of viewing the whole subject, would be, to look at the inheritance of every character whatever as the rule, and non-inheritance as the anomaly.
Largely a matter of Emotion is the Personal Sympathy of the author for his characters, while Intellect has a large share in Dramatic Sympathy, whereby the author enters truly into the situations and feelings of any character, whether he personally likes him or not.
Neither in the Republic, nor in any other Dialogue of Plato, is a single character repeated.
Some have considered the larger part of mankind in the light of actors, as personating characters no more their own, and to which in fact they have no better title, than the player hath to be in earnest thought the king or emperor whom he represents.
They labour under the disadvantages of a scarcity of wood and water,--evils of a serious character, until art has had time to supply the deficiencies of nature.
Besides this, I observed that the men made no scruple to set themselves out, and to go a-fortunehunting, as they call it, when they had really no fortune themselves to demand it, or merit to deserve it; and that they carried it so high, that a woman was scarce allowed to inquire after the character or estate of the person that pretended to her.
But I may be pardoned, if on such a theme as the general character of the American people, and the general character of their social system, as presented to a stranger's eyes, I desire to express my own opinions in a few words, before I bring these volumes to a close.
And when he had told them all about the case, and that he had never known a worse case, he stopped a little while, like a man who had something terrible to tell them, and then said that he understood an attempt would be made by his learned friend (and here he looked sideways at Kit's gentleman) to impeach the testimony of those immaculate witnesses whom he should call before them; but he did hope and trust that his learned friend would have a greater respect and veneration for the character of the prosecutor; than whom, as he well knew, there did not exist, and never had existed, a more honourable member of that most honourable profession to which he was attached.
murmured Professor Bumper, as he caught sight of many inscriptions in strange characters on the walls and buildings.
For the medium being the same, and the objects the same, the poet may imitate by narration--in which case he can either take another personality as Homer does, or speak in his own person, unchanged--or he may present all his characters as living and moving before us.