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

A deliberate attempt to destroy the reputation of a public figure by releasing, revealing, or creating defamatory or damaging information about them. The so-called expose on the senator is character assassination, pure and simple. Releasing those decades-old photos this late in the campaign amounts to character assassination—and it will probably work.
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.
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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

ˌin/ˌout of ˈcharacter

(of somebody’s behaviour, etc.) of the kind you would/would not expect from them; characteristic/uncharacteristic: That unpleasant remark she made was quite out of character.‘I’m sure it was Bill I saw from the bus. He was arguing with a police officer.’ ‘Well, that’s in character, anyway!’
See also: character, of, out

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 ?
But we must betray Hepzibah's secret, and confess that the native timorousness of her character even now developed itself in a quick tremor, which, to her own perception, set each of her joints at variance with its fellows.
The better part of my companion's character, if it have a better part, is that which usually comes uppermost in my regard, and forms the type whereby I recognise the man.
The character of the fair Jewess found so much favour in the eyes of some fair readers, that the writer was censured, because, when arranging the fates of the characters of the drama, he had not assigned the hand of Wilfred to Rebecca, rather than the less interesting Rowena.
Stability in government is essential to national character and to the advantages annexed to it, as well as to that repose and confidence in the minds of the people, which are among the chief blessings of civil society.
So pure and upright were they in all the relations of life, that entering their valley, as I did, under the most erroneous impressions of their character, I was soon led to exclaim in amazement: 'Are these the ferocious savages, the blood-thirsty cannibals of whom I have heard such frightful tales
The author has elsewhere said that the character of Leather-Stocking is a creation, rendered probable by such auxiliaries as were necessary to produce that effect.
When you have studied the character, I am sure you will feel it suit you.
Several of the speculations were of a questionable character.
This confidence of a stupid man in his own talents has been wonderfully depicted by Gogol in the amazing character of Pirogoff.
Even when it is as remote as Norway, it is still related to the great capitals by the history if not the actuality of the characters.
These characters and situations, pleasant or profoundly interesting, which it is good to have [63] come across, are worked out, not in rapid sketches, nor by hazardous epigram, but more securely by patient analysis; and though we have said that Mrs.
Who am I that I should object to being in prison, when so many of the royal personages and illustrious characters of history have been there before me?
Toto is in this story, because you wanted him to be there, and many other characters which you will recognize are in the story, too.
Thirdly and Lastly): That Characters which may not have appeared, and Events which may not have taken place, within the limits of our own individual experience, may nevertheless be perfectly natural Characters and perfectly probable Events, for all that.
The laws governing inheritance are quite unknown; no one can say why the same peculiarity in different individuals of the same species, and in individuals of different species, is sometimes inherited and sometimes not so; why the child often reverts in certain characters to its grandfather or grandmother or other much more remote ancestor; why a peculiarity is often transmitted from one sex to both sexes or to one sex alone, more commonly but not exclusively to the like sex.