characterize

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Related to characterises: abide by, sought out, whines
References in classic literature ?
There is nothing that more characterises a complete citizen than having a share in the judicial and executive part of the government.
I think, said Adeimantus, that in the spirit of contention which characterises him, he is not unlike our friend Glaucon.
Even to call life "activity," or to define it further as "the continuous adjustment of internal relations to external relations," as Spencer has it, Nietzsche characterises as a "democratic idiosyncracy.