out of character

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char·ac·ter

 (kăr′ək-tər)
n.
1.
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.
2.
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.
4.
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.
5.
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.
8.
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.
11.
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.
adj.
1. Of or relating to one's character.
2.
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.
Idioms:
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 ?
Viscio's defense lawyer said she was not likely to offend again or such an incident would not take place, and that alcohol and drugs caused the out-of-character behavior.
This will give the guys confidence but Quins made a lot of out-of-character errors.
Angus Taylor, defending, said Denman was extremely remorseful and that he had acted irrationally and out-of-character after finally snapping because of issues in his personal life and at work.
Despite the out-of-character accents, Backus insists that certain Apple signatures, like "the rhythm and sequence of introducing products," remain.
Neath potter Wells lost 4-1 to Kyren Wilson - a man he beat 5-0 en route to the third round of the World Open back in July - and was left to rue an out-of-character display.
Louise Bauress, representing Ben-Allee, said her client had no previous convictions and had acted out-of-character.
He made headlines in an out-of-character moment of madness at Ibrox.
A God-fearing young girl is doing strange, quite out-of-character things, like casually feeding fluffy 'ickle ducklings to a pen of hungry pigs and growling in a voice that sounds like the lead singer of Napalm Death after chain-smoking a pack of 20 Rothman Superkings.
It's also the one that doesn't center around upskirt schoolgirl fantasies and unspeakable sexual fetishes, making this tender and seemingly out-of-character fairy tale--in which Tokyo's biggest dork partners with the world's biggest turtle to become the country's biggest rock star--a delightful wish-fulfillment pop musical with entry points for audiences of all ages.
You had taken a large quantity of drugs and that adequately explains this out-of-character behaviour.
No explanation has emerged for that out-of-character performance but Toomey, who has since ridden in a bumper at Uttoxeter, is hopeful we will see a different horse today in the 2m2f handicap chase (4.
The Englishman has made an emergency call at St Andrews after a calamitous weekend at the Scottish Open which included out-of-character car-park club breaking.