(kăr′ək-tə-rē, kə-răk′-)
n. pl. character·ies
A system of characters or symbols used to express or convey thought and meaning.


(ˈkærɪktərɪ; -trɪ)
n, pl -teries
1. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) the use of symbols to express thoughts
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) the group of symbols so used


(ˈkær ɪk tə ri, -tri)

1. using characters or symbols to express meaning.
2. characters or symbols collectively.


1. a system of symbols used to represent ideas.
2. expression by means of such symbols.
See also: Alphabet, Representation
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References in periodicals archive ?
Instead of being overshadowed by her more famous sisters, Morrison's Anne, as several reviewers noted, is a strong and significant charactery She is enthusiastic, a mover--she wants to work, to start a school, to go to London; she is a feminist: "Just because we're women doesn't mean we can't work" (Morrison, 8).
10) This has a salvific charactery Additionally, righteousness should be understood within the context of the covenantal relationship of God to Israel.
The genre of the charactery itself is also rigidly artificial, inspired by classical prototypes (notably Seneca) and intended to allow authors to show their skills at pithy, succinct descriptions of appearance and actions.
My dictionary defines charactery as "a system of written letters or symbols used in the expression of thought.
When I speak of stellar charactery, I mean, in part, star patterns that resemble letters of our modern Western alphabet.
The art of charactery, as the aftermath of Mark Antony's disquisition on honor points out, can also be violent.
The natural mood of charactery therefore ranges between self-deprecating irony and satire.
Later, he hopes that the debate over torture won't focus on the "almost tragi-comedy of who did what and when but on the status of torture in the American charactery
Charactery remains among the most distinctive of seventeenth-century English prose genres, in that it combines high classicism--tracing its progeny back to the Characteres ethici of Aristotle's pupil, Theophrastus--with contemporary comedy of manners.
Exceeding 150 pages, Beecher's introduction reads as a monograph on the Characters, offering extensive discussions of Overbury's life (with emphasis upon his reputed murder-by-poisoning and the subsequent court scandal), the generic influences upon charactery, the collection's publication history (particularly the ways that its editor, Lawrence Lisle, sought financially to exploit Overbury's life and writings), and the courtly, "conceited" style of Overburian contributors.
When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain, Before high piled books, in charactery, Hold like rich garners the full ripen'd grain; When I behold, upon the night's starred face, Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance, And think that I may never live to trace Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance; And when I feel, fair creature of an hour, That I shall never look upon thee more, Never have relish in the fairy power Of unreflecting love - then on the shore Of the wide world I stand alone, and think Till love and fame to nothingness do sink.
When I have fears that I may cease to be Before my pen has gleaned my teeming brain, Before high-piled books, in charactery, Hold like rich garners the full-ripened grain.