Definition of in (or out of) character in US English:

in (or out of) character


  • In keeping (or not in keeping) with someone's usual pattern of behavior.

    • ‘He claims to be mercenary, yet often acts out of character, especially in the third act.’
    • ‘It was an act so completely out of character that it caused instant unease to his mother who reported his disappearance to the police.’
    • ‘An outburst would be out of character for such a languid, easy-going figure.’
    • ‘He said emotions could run high at such a traumatic time and cause people to do things that were out of character.’
    • ‘He had an exemplary work record and the attacks were out of character.’
    • ‘The judge said she could have gone to prison if anybody had been hurt but her job was of value to the community and her behaviour had been out of character.’
    • ‘Rachel's disappearance was totally out of character and police yesterday launched a huge appeal for help to trace her.’
    • ‘This isn't the most flattering anecdote, but the behaviour is in character.’
    • ‘Their families say the disappearance is completely out of character.’
    • ‘I have known him for seven years and he's never done anything like it before, it's totally out of character.’
    typical, usual, normal, predictable, habitual, in character
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