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A **characteristic** is a distinguishing feature of a person or thing. It may refer to:

- Characteristic (biased exponent), an ambiguous term formerly used by some authors to specify some type of exponent of a floating point number
- Characteristic (significand), an ambiguous term formerly used by some authors to specify the significand of a floating point number

*I–V*or current–voltage characteristic, the current in a circuit as a function of the applied voltage- Receiver operating characteristic

- Characteristic (algebra) of a ring, the smallest common cycle length of the ring's addition operation
- Characteristic (logarithm), integer part of a common logarithm
- Characteristic function, usually the indicator function of a subset, though the term has other meanings in specific domains
- Characteristic polynomial, a polynomial associated with a square matrix in linear algebra
- Characteristic subgroup, a subgroup that is invariant under all automorphisms in group theory
- Characteristic value, another name for the eigenvalue of a matrix
- Characteristic vector (disambiguation), another name for eigenvector of a matrix
- Characteristic word, a subclass of Sturmian word
- Euler characteristic, a topological invariant
- Method of characteristics, a technique for solving partial differential equations

- Light characteristic, pattern of a lighted beacon
- Another name for ability score in
*Dungeons & Dragons*

- All pages with titles containing
*Characteristic* *Characteristicks*, a 1711 philosophical treatise by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 3rd Earl of Shaftesbury

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