out of character

(redirected from Out-of-character)
Also found in: Acronyms.


a. The combination of mental characteristics and behavior that distinguishes a person or group. See Synonyms at disposition.
b. The distinguishing nature of something. See Synonyms at quality.
a. Moral strength; integrity: an educational program designed to develop character.
b. Public estimation of someone; reputation: personal attacks that damaged her character.
3. Biology A structure, function, or attribute of an organism, influenced by genetic, environmental, and developmental factors.
a. A person considered as having a specific quality or attribute: "Being a man of the world and a public character, [he] took everything as a matter of course" (George Eliot).
b. A person considered funny or eccentric: catcalls from some character in the back row.
a. A person portrayed in an artistic piece, such as a drama or novel.
b. A person or animal portrayed with a personality in comics or animation: a cartoon character.
c. Characterization in fiction or drama: a script that is weak in plot but strong in character.
d. Status or role; capacity: in his character as the father.
6. A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.
7. A formal written statement as to competency and dependability, given by an employer to a former employee; a recommendation.
a. A mark or symbol used in a writing system.
b. A Chinese character.
9. Computers
a. One of a set of symbols, such as letters or numbers, that are arranged to express information.
b. The numerical code representing such a character.
10. Mathematics The trace function of a representation.
a. A style of printing or writing: "Here is the hand and seal of the Duke; you know the character" (Shakespeare).
b. A cipher or code for secret writing.
1. Of or relating to one's character.
a. Specializing in the interpretation of often minor roles that emphasize fixed personality traits or specific physical characteristics: a character actor.
b. Of or relating to the interpretation of such roles by an actor: the character part of the hero's devoted mother.
3. Dedicated to the portrayal of a person with regard to distinguishing psychological or physical features: a character sketch.
tr.v. charac·tered, charac·ter·ing, charac·ters Archaic
1. To write, print, engrave, or inscribe.
2. To portray or describe; characterize.
in character
Consistent with someone's general character or behavior: behavior that was totally in character.
out of character
Inconsistent with someone's general character or behavior: a response so much out of character that it amazed me.

[Middle English carecter, distinctive mark, imprint on the soul, from Old French caractere, from Latin charactēr, from Greek kharaktēr, from kharassein, to inscribe, from kharax, kharak-, pointed stick.]

char′ac·ter·less adj.
References in periodicals archive ?
'In addition to this, we were becoming disillusioned with the type of new homes which were being built in Wales, the majority of which were poorly designed and completely out-of-character with other local architecture and the general landscape.
Thomas Johnson, who was spared jail for the out-of-character assault, particularly picked a pub in Whitley Bay for a night out because he knew the alcohol would be cheap.
But after hearing that it had been an out-of-character incident by Andrew Davies and the girl's high heels and drinking were partly to blame, a judge placed him on probation for 12 months.
Dewar - dubbed Reservoir Don on Monday following an out-of-character four- letter outburst - adopted the supercool gangster look at Polaroid's Vale of Leven plant in Dunbartonshire.
Easycall, usually a trail-blazer, ran an out-of-character race at Royal Ascot when a never-nearer sixth to Bolshoi in the Group 2 King's Stand Stakes.
Mrs Corcoran's disappearance has been described as "unusual" and "out-of-character".
Police said he has been suffering from depression lately and has been acting out-of-character.
``The panel accepted it was an out-of-character incident when you consider the record mentioned.
"She ran an out-of-character race at Epsom in that she ran so free and John Reid came back and said he thought there might be something wrong.
"I will be very surprised, in fact, if he does not emerge from it all the stronger, and is resolved to more than pay back for one isolated, out-of-character error."
Ms Corcoran's disappearance has been described as "unusual" and very much "out-of-character".
Henchoz left for Celtic under a cloud given the out-of-character comments he made about Rafa Benitez before Christmas.