General

Difference Between Features and Characteristics

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Main Difference

The main difference between Features and Characteristics is that Features explain the physical attributes or appearance of a person, whereas Characteristics denotes the overall qualities or attributes of a person.

Features vs. Characteristics

The word features are noun that means “an important quality or ability of something.” The word characteristics are noun and an adjective. As a noun, it has the meaning of “unique qualities that differentiate something or someone from the rest. Features direct the attributes, abilities, or qualities of anything. Characteristics are the qualities that make a thing unique. Features are the details about a thing. Characteristics are the peculiarity of a thing.

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Generally, we use the word features to explain the physical attributes or appearance of a person. The word characteristics are used when we are talking about the overall qualities or attributes of a person. The things that come into the category of features are the face, shape, body, hair, and the like. Characteristics are associated with character and behavior.

Features refer to the exterior of an individual, e.g., eyes, nose, mouth, hair, etc. Characteristics refer to the interior of an individual, e.g., generosity, funny, pensive, serious, hot-tempered, etc. The word feature is also used for the specific quality of any part of a building or area. It can also be a special attraction in a movie or other entertainment. Characteristics are used to highlight the prominent quality of a single person or group. In the case of individuals, features are specific to describe the parts of the face while the characteristics are the qualities that are unique, specific, or typical of an individual.

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Comparison Chart

FeaturesCharacteristics
It explains the physical attributes or appearance of a person.It denotes the overall qualities or attributes of a person.
Refers To
Physical qualities of a personOverall qualities or attributes of a person
Parts of Speech
NounNoun and adjective
Qualities
OuterInner

What are Features?

The word feature falls into the category of a noun. Its meaning is “an important quality or ability of someone or something.” Features tell the details about a thing or the physical appearance of a person. In an individual, the features include the face, shape, body, hair, etc. It refers to the exterior of an individual, e.g., eyes, nose, mouth, height, hair, or other parts of the body.

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Some other meanings are also associated with “features.” Features are the distinctive quality or part of animate or inanimate objects. It can be the distinctive quality or part, any part of an area or a building. Features are the unique attraction in a movie or other entertainment. If we want to praise someone’s physical beauty, we will say that he/she has beautiful features. Feature refers to an important aspect, quality, ability, of something.

The word features also explain the different aspects of a product. It also explains about any software or application. For an application or gadget, it does not refer to the physical attributes. For example, the features of a phone are its high ram, HD colors, and the like. For a person, features describe facial features, face shape, size and color, body, etc.

Examples

  • Can you help me in exploring the features of my new phone?
  • Her eyes are the most beautiful feature of her face.
  • The old building with colored glasses is the main feature of the area.
  • The magazine featured the actress as the most beautiful model.
  • The electric company is introducing several safety features.

What are the Characteristics?

The word characteristic falls into the category of noun and adjective. As a noun, its meaning is “unique qualities that differentiate a thing from the rest.” Characteristics are the peculiar qualities which distinguish a thing from the rest. It denotes that how someone acts or behaves. Characteristics are the unique quality that can be specified to a single person or group. It can also refer to the quality of a place or a thing as well.

The word characteristics refer to the overall qualities, attributes, or behavior of a person. For a person, characteristics refer to the interior of an individual or the qualities that are not physically visible, e.g., a person’s manners, talents, intelligence, and personality traits. Characteristic as an adjective is typical of a person, place, or thing. The qualities associated with the characteristics are generosity, funny, reflective, serious, hot-tempered, etc. Characteristics also refer to the quality of an individual or group that is easily noticed and identified.

Examples

  • Her most prominent characteristic is her patience.
  • The relatively small height is a characteristic of their race.
  • Yesterday I read the details about the characteristics of the market economy.
  • Kindness and patience are excellent characteristics, whereas jealousy, dishonesty is the abhorrent characteristics.
  • The spicy flavor is characteristic of most Asian dishes.

Key Differences

  1. Features fall into the category of the noun; in contrast, the parts of speech of the word characteristics are noun as well as an adjective.
  2. The feature holds the meaning “an important quality/ability of something,” while characteristic (noun) means the “unique qualities that are distinguishing something or someone different from others.
  3. We use the word features to explain the physical attributes or appearance of a person; on the other hand, the word characteristics are used when we are talking about the overall qualities or attributes of a person.
  4. In the case of individuals, features are specific to describe the parts of the face; on the contrary, characteristics are the qualities that are unique, specific, or typical of an individual.
  5. Other meanings that the word features include are “the distinctive quality or of a building or area, an attraction in entertainment”; on the other hand, characteristics are also used to highlight a prominent quality of one person, group, place, or a thing.
  6. Features direct the attributes, abilities, or qualities of anything. Whereas characteristics are the unique qualities that make a thing different from the others.
  7. Features refer to the exterior of an individual, g., eyes, nose, mouth, hair, etc. On the flip side, characteristics refer to the interior of an individual, e.g., personality traits, manners, talents, intelligence, and the like.
  8. Features are the details about a thing; on the converse, characteristics that are the peculiarity of a thing.
  9. The things that come into the category of features are face, shape, body, hair, etc. On the other side, characteristics are associated with character and behavior.

Conclusion

Features and characteristics are the two terms that can be interchanged when we talk about inanimate objects. But both the terms have a clear difference when we talk about animate objects, especially human beings. Features refer to the physical traits, whereas characteristics refer to the spiritual or internal traits of a person.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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