Feature vs. Characteristic: What's the Difference?
A feature is a distinctive attribute or aspect of something, while a characteristic is a typical trait or quality inherent to someone or something.
A feature is a distinctive or prominent attribute or aspect of an item or a system, often highlighted for its ability to perform a function or a task. In contrast, a characteristic is a defining or inherent trait or quality that distinguishes an individual, object, or entity, representing its nature or identity.
While features often pertain to specific elements, attributes, or components that enhance functionality or appearance, characteristics refer to inherent qualities or properties that define or represent an entity, often encompassing its attributes, qualities, and traits.
Features are generally tangible and are typically highlighted or specified, especially when describing products or services to denote capabilities or enhancements. On the other hand, characteristics can be both tangible and intangible, encompassing inherent traits, behaviors, and qualities of individuals or entities.
In the context of a product or a service, features are usually distinctive aspects or additions designed to improve or enhance its overall utility or appeal. Characteristics, meanwhile, are attributes or qualities that are innate or naturally occurring, denoting the essence or the nature of the entity.
Features can be added, modified, or removed, depending on the requirements or the design considerations, and they are often cited to delineate advantages or uniqueness. Characteristics, in contrast, are typically intrinsic and unalterable, defining the fundamental nature or the identity of the subject in consideration.
A distinctive attribute or aspect, often highlighted for its utility.
A typical trait or quality inherent to someone or something.
Tangible and specific.
Can be both tangible and intangible.
Can be added, modified, or removed.
Typically intrinsic and unalterable.
Represents capability or enhancement.
Represents the essence or nature.
Often applied to products, services, or systems.
Applied to individuals, objects, or entities.
Feature and Characteristic Definitions
A prominent attribute or aspect of something.
The camera is a notable feature of the new smartphone.
A graph representing a function.
The characteristic curve of the device was plotted accurately.
A part of a face.
Her eyes are her most striking feature.
An inherent or distinguishing attribute of something.
The characteristic taste of olive oil is loved by many.
A distinctive characteristic of a linguistic unit.
Gender is a grammatical feature in many languages.
A feature or quality that typifies or represents an individual or thing.
The bird has several characteristics distinguishing it from others.
Any of the distinct parts of the face, as the eyes, nose, or mouth.
A distinctive behavior.
His punctuality is a positive characteristic.
Often features The overall appearance of the face or its parts.
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.
A prominent or distinctive part, quality, or characteristic
A feature of one's personality.
A feature of the landscape.
A feature that helps to identify, tell apart, or describe recognizably; a distinguishing mark or trait.
A property of linguistic units or forms
Nasality is a phonological feature.
(Mathematics) The integral part of a logarithm as distinguished from the mantissa
The characteristic of the logarithm 6.3214 is 6.
In generative linguistics, any of various abstract entities that specify or combine to specify phonological, morphological, semantic, and syntactic properties of linguistic forms and that act as the targets of linguistic rules and operations.
(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.
The main film presentation at a theater.
Being a distinguishing feature of a person or thing.
A long, narrative movie, typically lasting more than one hour.
A distinguishing feature of a person or thing.
A special attraction at an entertainment.
(mathematics) The integer part of a logarithm.
A prominent or special article, story, or department in a newspaper or periodical.
(nautical) The distinguishing features of a navigational light on a lighthouse etc by which it can be identified (colour, pattern of flashes etc.).
An item advertised or offered as particularly attractive or as an inducement
A washing machine with many features.
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.
Outward appearance; form or shape.
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.
A distinguishing trait, quality, or property; an element of character; that which characterized.
The characteristics of a true critic.
To give special attention to; display, publicize, or make prominent.
The integral part (whether positive or negative) of a logarithm.
To have or include as a prominent part or characteristic
The play featured two well-known actors.
A prominent aspect of something;
The map showed roads and other features
Generosity is one of his best characteristics
To depict or outline the features of.
A distinguishing quality
(Informal) To picture mentally; imagine
Can you feature her in that hat?.
The integer part (positive or negative) of the representation of a logarithm; in the expression log 643 = 2.808 the characteristic is 2
(obsolete) One's structure or make-up: form, shape, bodily proportions.
Any measurable property of a device measured under closely specified conditions
An important or main item.
Typical or distinctive;
Heard my friend's characteristic laugh
Red and gold are the characteristic colors of autumn
Stripes characteristic of the zebra
(media) A long, prominent article or item in the media, or the department that creates them; frequently used technically to distinguish content from news.
A distinguishing trait or quality.
Kindness is a characteristic of his personality.
(film) feature film
Any of the physical constituents of the face (eyes, nose, etc.).
(computing) A beneficial capability of a piece of software.
The cast or structure of anything, or of any part of a thing, as of a landscape, a picture, a treaty, or an essay; any marked peculiarity or characteristic.
One of the features of the landscape
(archaeology) Something discerned from physical evidence that helps define, identify, characterize, and interpret an archeological site.
A feature of many Central Texas prehistoric archeological sites is a low spreading pile of stones called a rock midden. Other features at these sites may include small hearths.
(engineering) Characteristic forms or shapes of parts. For example, a hole, boss, slot, cut, chamfer, or fillet.
An individual measurable property or characteristic of a phenomenon being observed; the input of a model.
(music) The act of being featured in a piece of music.
(linguistics) The elements into which linguistic units can be broken down.
(transitive) To ascribe the greatest importance to something within a certain context.
(transitive) To star, to contain.
(intransitive) To appear, to make an appearance.
To have features resembling.
The make, form, or outward appearance of a person; the whole turn or style of the body; esp., good appearance.
What needeth it his feature to descrive?
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature.
The make, cast, or appearance of the human face, and especially of any single part of the face; a lineament. (pl.) The face, the countenance.
It is for homely features to keep home.
The cast or structure of anything, or of any part of a thing, as of a landscape, a picture, a treaty, or an essay; any marked peculiarity or characteristic; as, one of the features of the landscape.
And to her service bind each living creatureThrough secret understanding of their feature.
A form; a shape.
So scented the grim feature, and upturnedHis nostril wide into the murky air.
A prominent aspect of something;
The map showed roads and other features
Generosity is one of his best characteristics
The characteristic parts of a person's face: eyes and nose and mouth and chin;
An expression of pleasure crossed his features
His lineaments were very regular
The principal (full-length) film in a program at a movie theater;
The feature tonight is `Casablanca'
A special or prominent article in a newspaper or magazine;
They ran a feature on retirement planning
An article of merchandise that is displayed or advertised more than other articles
Have as a feature;
This restaurant features the most famous chefs in France
Wear or display in an ostentatious or proud manner;
She was sporting a new hat
A distinctive property or component.
The car has several safety features.
A special article in a newspaper or magazine.
The magazine has a feature on healthy eating this month.
Can a feature be a characteristic?
While they have different connotations, sometimes the term feature can be used interchangeably with characteristic, depending on the context.
Can characteristics be both positive and negative?
Yes, characteristics can be positive, negative, or neutral, depending on the context and perspective.
Can features be created or developed?
Yes, features can be intentionally developed or designed, especially in products or services.
Are characteristics always inherent?
Typically, characteristics are inherent traits or qualities, but they can also include acquired traits.
Are features always tangible?
Features are usually tangible, but they can also refer to intangible attributes, like a feature of a software application.
Do characteristics always define the essence of an entity?
Typically, characteristics are defining traits or qualities that represent the nature or essence of an entity.
Are characteristics always observable?
Not necessarily, some characteristics might not be immediately observable and may require specific conditions or tests to be identified.
Can a feature be non-functional?
Yes, some features might be non-functional and may serve aesthetic or informative purposes.
Can features be removed or altered easily?
Features, especially in products or services, can often be altered, enhanced, or removed, depending on design considerations and user requirements.
Are features typically highlighted in advertisements?
Yes, features are often highlighted in advertisements to showcase the advantages or uniqueness of a product or service.
Can characteristics be subjective?
The perception of certain characteristics can be subjective and may vary from person to person.
Can the characteristic of an entity be disputed?
Yes, what is considered a characteristic of an entity can be disputed, especially when it comes to subjective or debatable traits.
Is every feature beneficial?
Not necessarily, the benefit of a feature depends on user needs and preferences.
Can the same entity have contrasting features?
Yes, an entity can possess features that seem contrasting or contradictory, depending on the perspective and context.
Are characteristics permanent?
Many characteristics are permanent, but some can change over time or due to external influences.
Written bySawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited bySumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.