Legal Definition and Related Resources of Character

Meaning of Character

A generalized description of one’s disposition in respect to a general trait such as honesty, temperance or carefulness. Frase v Henry, (C.A.8) 444 F.2d 1228. As used in reference to impeachment of a witness by attack on his credibility the term is limited to truth and veracity. See Braxton v state , 274 A.2d647, 11 Md.App. 435.

Character Alternative Definition

In evidence. The opinion generally entertained of a person derived from the common report of the.people who are acquainted with him. 3 Serg. & R. (Pa.) 336; 3 Mass. 192; 3 Esp. 236; 40 Neb. 810. In its technical use, the word has lost its ordinary significance, and in such use is synonymous with “repute.” The moral character and conduct of a person in society may be used in proof before a jury in three classes of cases: First, to afford a presumption that a particular party has not been guilty of a criminal act (17 Mich. 9; 14 Mo. 502) ; second, to affect the damages in particular cases, where their amount depends on the character and conduct of any individual (30 N. Y. 285; 8 Iowa, 29; 4 Gush. [Mass.] 217) ; and, third, to impeach or confirm the veracity of a witness (16 Ohio St. 218; 7 N. Y. 378).

Synonyms of Character

(An individual), noun

  • being
  • body
  • figure
  • human
  • human being
  • man
  • mortal
  • party
  • person
  • personage
  • personality
  • selfdetermined being
  • somebody
  • someone

(Personal quality), noun

  • animus
  • aspects
  • attribute
  • bent
  • characteristic mood
  • constitution
  • description
  • disposition
  • dominant quality
  • essence
  • essential part
  • essential quality of one’s nature
  • essentialness
  • ethos
  • features
  • fiber
  • frame of mind
  • grain
  • inclination
  • individualism
  • individuality
  • ingenium
  • inherited characteristics
  • inner nature
  • intellect
  • intrinsicality
  • intrinsicalness
  • kind
  • leaning
  • makeup
  • manner
  • marked traits
  • mental and spiritual makeup
  • mettle
  • mold
  • moral qualities
  • mores
  • natura
  • natural turn of mind
  • nature
  • peculiarity
  • personal traits
  • personality
  • predilection
  • prime ingredients
  • proclivity
  • proneness
  • propension
  • propensity
  • proprietas
  • psychological habits
  • qualities
  • quiddity
  • quintessence
  • slant
  • striking qualities
  • style
  • substantiality
  • susceptibility
  • temper
  • temperament
  • tendency
  • tone
  • trait

(Reputation), noun

  • celebrity
  • credit
  • deference
  • distinction
  • eminence
  • esteem
  • estimation
  • existimatio
  • fama
  • fame
  • grandeur
  • high reward
  • honor
  • locus standi
  • name
  • nobility
  • notability
  • notice
  • notoriety
  • notoriousness
  • opinio
  • place
  • popular favor
  • popularity
  • position
  • position in society
  • preeminence
  • prestige
  • prominence
  • public esteem
  • publicly recognized standing
  • recognition
  • regard
  • renown
  • reputableness
  • repute
  • respect
  • respectability
  • standing
  • station
  • status
  • Associated Concepts: character evidence
  • character witness

Related Entries of Character in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Character in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Character in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Character in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Character in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

Accredit, Actual Notice, Admissible Evidence, Aggravated Assault, Allegation, Articles Of Commerce, , Attachment, Authentic, Canons Of Professional Responsibility, Charitable, Circumstantial Evidence, Constructive Fraud, Constructive Trust, Covenant Running With The Land, Cruelty, Ethical, Fiduciary, General Damages, Goods, Hostile, Illness, Immediate Family, Inadequate, Interest, Judicial Act, Label, Manufacture, , Material Fact, Mercantile Agency, Minimum Contact, Mining Claim, Misconduct, Muster-roll, Narcotics, Nationality, Newspaper, Notoriety, Planning, Political, Possession, Private Company, Private Corporation, Promissory Estoppel, Quality, Recrimination, Represent, Reputation, School, , Rule In Shelley’s Case, , Special Indorsement, Syndicate, Testamentary Disposition, Total Loss.


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Character in the Dictionary Character in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Character
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Related topics Character in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Character is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This entry needs to be proofread.

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Character in the Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims

The qualities impressed by nature or habit on a person, which distinguish him from other persons. These constitute his real character; while the qualities he is supposed to possess constitute his estimated character or reputation. “Reputation” may be evidence of character, but is not character itself. 8 Barb. 608 (1850). That which a person really is, in distinction from that which he may be reputed to be. 5 Iowa 391 (1857).

Note: This legal definition of Character in the Dictionary of Law (English and American Jurisprudence) is from 1893.

Character in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of character.


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

English Legal System: Character

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Character :

(in the law of evidence)

1. The reputation of a party or witness. In civil cases the reputation of a party is not admissible unless it is directly in issue, as it may be in an action for *defamatio In criminal cases the accused may call evidence of his good character or give evidence to show the bad character of the witnesses for the prosecutio If he does so, the prosecution may call evidence in rebuttal, but any such evidence must be limited to evidence of reputation and not include opinions about the accused’s *dispositio Evidence of the reputation for truthfulness of a witness may be given in both civil and criminal cases.

2. Loosely, the disposition of a party.


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