What is another word for characterize?

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To characterize means to show what is distinctive about a character in literature. It can also mean to show what is distinctive (what characterizes) a group of people, a company, a style of architecture, a particular kind of cuisine, or almost any object in the world.

Words that have a similar meaning to characterize include the following: individualize, describe, distinguish, and identify.

If you thinking about how a character in a story or novel is characterized, you would think of what traits they have that make them different from other characters in the story. What do you remember about a particular character? What is the character like as a person? This is what characterizes them.

Characterization can be external or internal. For example, we often identify Holden in The Catcher in the Rye as the character who wears a hunting cap. This is an external characteristic that helps make him distinct. Internal traits or characteristics we remember about Holden are that he doesn't like phony people and that he has a strong desire to protect children.

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