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Characteristic vs. Nature: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
A characteristic is a distinguishing feature or quality of something, while nature refers to the inherent or essential qualities of something or someone.
Characteristic vs. Nature

Key Differences

A characteristic is a specific trait that defines or distinguishes something, such as color or behavior in animals. Nature, in contrast, encompasses the fundamental qualities and innate behavior of a person or thing.
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Characteristics are often used to describe observable attributes in various contexts, like physical appearance or personality traits. Nature often refers to the innate or inherent qualities that are not easily altered.
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When discussing individuals, a characteristic might be a unique habit or physical trait, while their nature refers to their overall disposition or temperament.
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For objects or concepts, a characteristic could be a design feature or function, while its nature would be its fundamental essence or purpose.
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Characteristics can change over time or with circumstances, such as skills in a person. Nature usually implies more permanent, inherent qualities that are less susceptible to change.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A distinguishing feature or quality
The inherent or essential qualities
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Scope

Specific, observable attributes
Overall, fundamental disposition or essence
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Context

Descriptive, often changeable
Intrinsic, often unchangeable
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Usage in Descriptions

Used for specific traits or features
Used to describe the essence or temperament
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Relation to Change

Can vary over time or circumstances
Generally more permanent and inherent
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Characteristic and Nature Definitions

Characteristic

A characteristic is a notable attribute or quality of something.
Blue eyes are a characteristic feature of the Siberian Husky breed.
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Nature

Nature refers to the inherent qualities or essence of a person or thing.
His generous nature made him well-liked by his friends.
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Characteristic

Characteristics refer to the traits or features that distinguish an individual or thing.
His characteristic sense of humor always lightened the mood.
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Nature

Nature can mean the fundamental qualities that dictate behavior or action.
It's in her nature to always help those in need.
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Characteristic

Characteristics often serve as identifying aspects of an object or person.
The characteristic ring pattern on the tail identifies this snake species.
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Nature

Nature can refer to the general character or disposition of a person.
His calm nature helps him handle stressful situations easily.
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Characteristic

A characteristic can be a unique or typical quality of someone or something.
The characteristic spicy flavor of the dish comes from its unique blend of herbs.
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Nature

The material world and its phenomena
Scientists analyzing nature.
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Characteristic

Being a feature that helps to distinguish a person or thing; distinctive
Heard my friend's characteristic laugh.
The stripes that are characteristic of the zebra.
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Nature

The forces and processes that produce and control these phenomena
The balance of nature.
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Characteristic

A feature that helps to identify, tell apart, or describe recognizably; a distinguishing mark or trait.
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Nature

The world of living things and the outdoors
Spent the day enjoying nature.
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Characteristic

(Mathematics) The integral part of a logarithm as distinguished from the mantissa
The characteristic of the logarithm 6.3214 is 6.
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Nature

A primitive state of existence, untouched and uninfluenced by civilization or social constraints
When people lived in a state of nature.
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Characteristic

(Mathematics) The least number of times the multiplicative identity in a ring needs to be added to itself to reach the additive identity, or, if the additive identity is never reached, zero. The integers have a characteristic of zero; the integers modulo 12 have a characteristic of 12.
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Nature

The basic character or qualities of humanity
It is only human nature to worry about the future.
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Characteristic

Being a distinguishing feature of a person or thing.
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Nature

The fundamental character or disposition of a person; temperament
A man of an irascible nature.
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Characteristic

A distinguishing feature of a person or thing.
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Nature

The set of inherent characteristics or properties that distinguish something
Trying to determine the nature of a newly discovered phenomenon.
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Characteristic

(mathematics) The integer part of a logarithm.
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Nature

A kind or sort
Confidences of a personal nature.
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Characteristic

(nautical) The distinguishing features of a navigational light on a lighthouse etc by which it can be identified (colour, pattern of flashes etc.).
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Nature

The processes and functions of the body, as in healing
The doctor decided not to do anything and let nature take its course.
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Characteristic

For a given field or ring, a natural number that is either the smallest positive number n such that n instances of the multiplicative identity (1) summed together yield the additive identity (0) or, if no such number exists, the number 0.
The characteristic of a field, if non-zero, must be a prime number.
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Nature

Heredity
Behavior more influenced by nature than nurture.
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Characteristic

Pertaining to, or serving to constitute, the character; showing the character, or distinctive qualities or traits, of a person or thing; peculiar; distinctive.
Characteristic clearness of temper.
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Nature

The way things are, the totality of all things in the physical universe and their order, especially the physical world in contrast to spiritual realms and flora and fauna as distinct from human conventions, art, and technology.
Nature doesn't lie.
The laws of nature are written in the language of mathematics.
Tectonic activity is part of nature, so there's no way to stop earthquakes.
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Characteristic

A distinguishing trait, quality, or property; an element of character; that which characterized.
The characteristics of a true critic.
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Nature

The particular way someone or something is, especially
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Characteristic

The integral part (whether positive or negative) of a logarithm.
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Nature

The essential or innate characteristics of a person or thing which will always tend to manifest, especially in contrast to specific contexts, reason, religious duty, upbringing, and personal pretense or effort.
It's not in my nature to steal.
You can't help feeling that way. It's human nature.
Power corrupts. That's just the nature of the beast.
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Characteristic

A prominent aspect of something;
The map showed roads and other features
Generosity is one of his best characteristics
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Nature

The distinguishing characteristic of a person or thing, understood as its general class, sort, type, etc.
What was the nature of your relationship with the deceased?
The best medium might be petroleum, liquified gas, or something of that nature.
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Characteristic

A distinguishing quality
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Nature

Synonym of caliber: the class of a gun.
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Characteristic

The integer part (positive or negative) of the representation of a logarithm; in the expression log 643 = 2.808 the characteristic is 2
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Nature

The vital functions or strength of someone or something, especially as requiring nourishment or careful maintenance or (medicine) as a force of regeneration without special treatment.
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Characteristic

Any measurable property of a device measured under closely specified conditions
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Nature

A requirement or powerful impulse of the body's physical form, especially
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Characteristic

Typical or distinctive;
Heard my friend's characteristic laugh
Red and gold are the characteristic colors of autumn
Stripes characteristic of the zebra
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Nature

The need to urinate and defecate.
I hear the call of nature.
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Characteristic

In biology, a characteristic is a trait or feature of an organism.
Webbed feet are a characteristic of many aquatic birds.
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Nature

Sexual desire.
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Nature

Spontaneous love, affection, or reverence, especially between parent and child.
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Nature

A product of the body's physical form, especially semen and vaginal fluids, menstrual fluid, and (obsolete) feces.
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Nature

A part of the body's physical form, especially (obsolete) the female genitalia.
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Nature

(obsolete) To endow with natural qualities.
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Nature

The existing system of things; the universe of matter, energy, time and space; the physical world; all of creation. Contrasted with the world of mankind, with its mental and social phenomena.
But looks through nature up to nature's God.
When, in the course of human Events, it becomes necessary for one People to dissolve the Political Bonds which have connected them with another, ans to assume among the powers of the earth the separate and equal Station which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent Respect to the Opinions of Mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to the Separation.
Nature has caprices which art can not imitate.
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Nature

The personified sum and order of causes and effects; the powers which produce existing phenomena, whether in the total or in detail; the agencies which carry on the processes of creation or of being; - often conceived of as a single and separate entity, embodying the total of all finite agencies and forces as disconnected from a creating or ordering intelligence; as, produced by nature; the forces of nature.
I oft admireHow Nature, wise and frugal, could commitSuch disproportions.
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Nature

The established or regular course of things; usual order of events; connection of cause and effect.
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Nature

Conformity to that which is natural, as distinguished from that which is artificial, or forced, or remote from actual experience.
One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
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Nature

The sum of qualities and attributes which make a person or thing what it is, as distinct from others; native character; inherent or essential qualities or attributes; peculiar constitution or quality of being.
Thou, therefore, whom thou only canst redeem,Their nature also to thy nature join,And be thyself man among men on earth.
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Nature

Kind, sort; character; quality.
A dispute of this nature caused mischief.
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Nature

Physical constitution or existence; the vital powers; the natural life.
Oppressed nature sleeps.
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Nature

Natural affection or reverence.
Have we not seenThe murdering son ascend his parent's bed,Through violated nature force his way?
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Nature

Constitution or quality of mind or character.
A born devil, on whose natureNurture can never stick.
That reverence which is due to a superior nature.
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Nature

To endow with natural qualities.
He [God] which natureth every kind.
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Nature

The essential qualities or characteristics by which something is recognized;
It is the nature of fire to burn
The true nature of jealousy
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Nature

A causal agent creating and controlling things in the universe;
The laws of nature
Nature has seen to it that men are stronger than women
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Nature

The natural physical world including plants and animals and landscapes etc.;
They tried to preserve nature as they found it
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Nature

The complex of emotional and intellectual attributes that determine a person's characteristic actions and reactions;
It is his nature to help others
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Nature

A particular type of thing;
Problems of this type are very difficult to solve
He's interested in trains and things of that nature
Matters of a personal nature
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Nature

In the context of the environment, nature refers to the physical world and its ecosystems.
She loves hiking and being close to nature.
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Nature

Nature also denotes the innate or intrinsic characteristics of something.
The nature of water is to flow and fill any space.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

How is nature defined?

Nature refers to the inherent or essential qualities of a person or thing.
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Is nature changeable?

Nature generally refers to more permanent, inherent qualities that are less likely to change.
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What does nature mean in environmental context?

In environmental context, nature refers to the physical world, including plants, animals, and landscapes.
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Is nature always inherent?

Yes, nature typically refers to the intrinsic and fundamental qualities of something.
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Can characteristics be changed?

Yes, characteristics can change over time or with circumstances.
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How are characteristics used in biology?

In biology, characteristics are used to describe traits or features of organisms.
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What are physical characteristics?

Physical characteristics are observable traits like height, color, or shape.
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What is a characteristic?

A characteristic is a distinguishing feature or quality of a person, object, or concept.
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Can a person’s nature be altered?

A person's fundamental nature is usually consistent, though their behaviors and attitudes can evolve.
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Can the nature of a concept be described?

Yes, the nature of a concept refers to its fundamental qualities or principles.
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Are characteristics unique to individuals?

Characteristics can be unique to individuals or shared among groups.
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Are characteristics always visible?

Not always; some characteristics, like personality traits, may not be immediately observable.
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How does nature differ in humans and animals?

Nature in humans and animals refers to their inherent dispositions and behaviors, which can vary widely.
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Can characteristics be measured?

Many characteristics, particularly physical ones, can be measured or quantified.
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How do characteristics help in identification?

Characteristics are often used to identify and distinguish one entity from another.
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Is the concept of nature subjective?

The interpretation of nature can have subjective elements, especially in philosophical or ethical contexts.
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Can nature be influenced by external factors?

While nature is inherent, it can be influenced to some extent by environmental and experiential factors.
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Does nature include behavior?

Yes, nature often includes the typical or inherent behavior of a person or animal.
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What does ‘against nature’ mean?

'Against nature' implies something is contrary to the natural or inherent qualities of something.
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Can objects have a nature?

Yes, objects can have a nature that refers to their fundamental essence or purpose.
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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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