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Bible Lexicons

Old & New Testament Greek Lexical DictionaryGreek Lexicon

Strong's #5481 - χαρακτήρ

Root Word (Etymology)
from the same as (G5482)
Parts of Speech
masculine noun
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  1. the instrument used for engraving or carving
  2. the mark stamped upon that instrument or wrought out on it
    1. a mark or figure burned in (Lev. 13:28) or stamped on, an impression
    2. the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect, i.e facsimile
Hebrew Equivalent Words:
Strong #: 6867 ‑ צָרֶבֶת (tsaw‑reh'‑beth);  
Frequency Lists
Verse Results
KJV (1)
Hebrews 1
NAS (2)
Hebrews 2
CSB (1)
Hebrews 1
BSB (1)
Hebrews 1
ESV (1)
Hebrews 1
WEB (1)
Hebrews 1
Liddell-Scott-Jones Definitions

χᾰρακτήρ, ῆρος, ὁ,


engraver, Euryph. ap. Stob. 4.39.27; one who mints coins, IPE 1216 A 14 (Olbia, iii B. C.).

2. graving tool, Daimachus 4J. (pl.) ap. St.Byz. s.v. Λακεδαίμων.

3. die, stamp, IG 22.1013.64, 1408.11, 1424a120, 280, 1469.107; in a simile, Arist. GA 781a28.

4. branding-iron, Clara Rhodos 2.171 (ii B. C.).

II mark engraved, impress, stamp on coins and seals, ἀργύρου λαμπρὸς χ. E. El. 559, cf. Pl. Plt. 289b, Arist. Pol. 1257a40; coin type, standard, ἦν δ' ὁ ἀρχαῖος χ. δίδραχμον Id. Ath. 10.2, cf. OGI 339.45 (Sestos, ii B. C.), D.S. 17.66; Κότυος χ. Head Hist.Num. 2285 (Thrace, i B. C.): hence, in pl., = χάραγμα 1.2, PFlor. 61.21 (i A. D.): metaph., οἷς ἡ ἀρετὴ εὐδοξίας χαρακτῆρα τοῖς ἔργοις ἐπέβαλεν set a stamp upon them, Isoc. 1.8; Κύπριος (s. v. l.) χαρακτὴρ.. ἐν γυναικείοις τύποις εἰκὼς πέπληκται A. Supp. 282.

2. esp. of figures or letters, οἱ τῶν γραμμάτων χ. Plu. 2.214f; ὁ τύπος τῶν χ. ib.577f, cf. 1120f, D.S. 3.67; of the letters used by Hp. in Epid. 3.1, Zeno and Apollonius ap. Gal. 17(1).618, cf. 524sq.; of a single letter of the alphabet, Jul. Or. 2.72a; ξυλήφια βραχέα ἔχοντα χαρακτῆρα Plb. 6.35.7; brand on a camel, PGen. 29.8 (ii A. D.); of symbols in a prescription, Gal. 13.995; of magical symbols (such as the seven vowels), τῶν χ. ἡ ἀπόρρητος φύσις Jul. Or. 7.216c, cf. Iamb. Myst. 3.13, Sallust. 15; of hieroglyphs, opp. γράμματα, Luc. Herm. 44.

3. metaph., distinctive mark or token impressed (as it were) on a person or thing, by which it is known from others, characteristic, character, χ. γλώσσης, of a particular dialect, Hdt. 1.57, 142; χ. αὑτὸς ἐν γλώσσῃ S. Fr. 176; χ. ἡμεδαπὸς τῶν ῥημάτων Ar. Pax 220; ὁ Ἑλληνικὸς χ. Greek idiom, D.H. Pomp. 3: freq. of persons, feature, ὁ χ. τοῦ προσώπου Hdt. 1.116; εἰληφέναι χαρακτῆρα ἑκατέρου τοῦ εἴδους Pl. Phdr. 263b; οἱ τῆς ὄψεως χ. D.S. 1.91; ἀνδρῶν οὐδεὶς χ. ἐμπέφυκε σώματι E. Med. 519; δεινὸς χ. κἀπίσημος.. ἐσθλῶν γενέσθαι Id. Hec. 379; φανερὸς χ. ἀρετᾶς Id. HF 659 (lyr.); ἠθικοὶ χ., title of work by Thphr.: pl., οἱ χ. the features of the face, J. AJ 13.12.1, cf. OGI 508.13 (Ephesus, ii A. D.); χ. μορφῆς ἐμῆς ib.383.60 (Nemrud Dagh, i B. C., sg.); [ τοῦ ἐμβρύου ] Sor. 1.33 (pl.): hence,

4. type or character (regarded as shared with others) of a thing or person, rarely of an individual nature, ἀνδρὸς χ. ἐκ λόγου γνωρίζεται Men. 72; χ. μοχθηρότατον παραπλάττεσθαι Phld. Rh. 1.6 S.; τὸν χ. τὸν Διογένους Arr. Epict. 3.22.80; τίνα ἔχει χ. τὰ δόγματα; ib. 4.5.17; of nations, Plb. 18.34.7.

5. style, freq. in Rhet., ὁ Δημοσθένους χ. D.H. Dem. 9, cf. Pomp. 1, Cic. QF 2.15(16).5; χ. δικανικός Phld. Rh. 2.137S.; χ. optimi the ideal type, Cic. Orat. 11.36, cf. 39.134; χ. ἰσχνός, μεγαλοπρεπής, γλαφυρός, δεινός Demetr. Eloc. 36, cf. D.H. Dem. 33; χ. λέξεως Id. Lys. 11; χ. Ἀσιανός Str. 13.1.66.

6. impress, image, τῆς ὑποστάσεως [τοῦ θεοῦ ] Hebrews 1:3; πάθους, ἀρετῆς, Longin. 22.1, Eun. Hist. p.243 D.: abs., οἱ Σεβάστειοι χ. the imperial seal, i.e. the emperor himself, IG 5(2).268.24 (Mantinea, i B. C.).

7. Gramm., typical form, A.D. Synt. 20.10, 103.23.

Thayer's Expanded Definition

χαρακτήρ, χαρακτηρος, (χαράσσω to engrave, cut into), from Aeschylus and Herodotus down;

1. properly, the instrument used in engraving or carving (cf. ζωστήρ, λαμπτήρ, λουτήρ, φυσητήρ; cf. our 'stamp' or 'die').

2. the mark (figure or letters) stamped upon that instrument or wrought out on it; hence, universally, "a mark or figure burned in (Leviticus 13:28) or stamped on, an impression; the exact expression (the image) of any person or thing, marked likeness, precise reproduction in every respect" (cf. facsimile): χαρακτήρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως τοῦ Θεοῦ, of Christ, accusative to his nature as θεῖος λόγος, Hebrews 1:3; σφραγῖδι Θεοῦ, ἧς χαρακτήρ ἐστιν ἀΐδιος λόγος, Philo de plant. Noë § 5; χαρακτήρ θείας δυνάμεως, of the human mind, Philo, quod det. potiori ins. § 23; God τόν ἄνθρωπον ἔπλασεν τῆς ἑαυτοῦ ἐκονος χαρακτῆρα, Clement of Rome, 1 Cor. 33, 4 [ET]; οἱ πιστοί ἐν ἀγάπη χαρακτῆρα Θεοῦ πατρός διά Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ (ἔχουσιν), Ignatius ad Magnes. 5, 2 [ET]. the peculiarity, by which things are recognized and distinguished from each other (cf. English characteristic): 2 Macc. 4:10.

Thayer's Expanded Greek Definition, Electronic Database.
Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.
All rights rserved. Used by permission. BibleSoft.com
Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament

χαρακτήρ , -ῆρος ,

(< χαράσσω , to engrave),

[in LXX: Leviticus 13:28 (H6867), 2 Maccabees 4:10, 4 Maccabees 15:4 א R *;]

1. a tool for graving.

2. a stamp or impress: as on a coin or seal; metaph., χ . τ . ὑποστάσεως , Hebrews 1:3.†

Abbott-Smith Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament.
Copyright © 1922 by G. Abbott-Smith, D.D., D.C.L.. T & T Clarke, London.
Vocabulary of the Greek NT

";falsely named"; (1Ti. 6:20), cf. Kaibel 42.4—

ψευδώνυμον ἀλλά με δαίμων

θῆκεν ἀφαρπάξας ὠκύτατ᾽ εἰς Ἀίδα.


The Vocabulary of the Greek New Testament.
Copyright © 1914, 1929, 1930 by James Hope Moulton and George Milligan. Hodder and Stoughton, London.
Derivative Copyright © 2015 by Allan Loder.
List of Word Forms
χαρακτηρ χαρακτήρ χαρακτὴρ χαράκωσιν charakter charaktēr charaktḕr
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