Character Traits: Examples and List of Positive & Negative Character Traits

Character Traits meaning! You may well have come across the term character trait, but what does this refer to? In this article, we are going to be looking at exactly what a character trait is and what it is used for. We are also going to be looking at a variety of examples as a way of gaining a greater understanding of their function.

What Is A Character Trait?

A character trait is something which can describe an aspect of someones behaviour. These are individual characteristics which create the personality of either a real life person or of a fictional character. There are both positive and negative character traits seen in any character or person, including yourself!

Often times, people might think of the character trait as being the same thing as the personality trait, however this is not true. The two are quite different, but it is not always easy to determine. The best way of forming a distinction between the two is to think of a personality trait as something which is evident to an outsider, for example “John was constantly making nasty remarks to his friends, it was clear that he was a viscous person.”

However, the character trait is something which is not immediately obvious to someone on the outside, you will notice that these traits develop throughout a period of time. A good example of this is when you meet someone new and they come across as being friendly and kind, however as you get to know the person, it becomes apparent that they are also very empathetic but this is not immediately noticed and requires getting to know the person and understanding why they are this way.

A character trait is a great way of talking about a person who you know well and describing them to someone else. However, a character trait is also an excellent way of creating a fictional character and is something that is often seen in works of fiction as a way of bringing the characters on the page to life and giving them a more human feel.

Types Of Character Traits

There are various different types of character traits and they can fall into smaller subcategories. We are now going to look at the various different types of character traits as well as some examples of how they are used.

You will notice in each of the examples that the discuss why the person has a specific character trait and this shows us that we are talking about their character rather than their personality.

Morals And Values

  • Honest – someone who is truthful
  • Brave – someone who shows courage
  • Compassionate – someone who understands the situations of other people
  • Leader – someone who can lead and take control.
  • Courageous – someone who shows bravery
  • Unselfish – someone who puts others first
  • Loyal – someone who is consistently supportive of those close to them
  • Hard-working – someone who works hard
  • Independent – someone who thrives well on their own
  • Selfish – someone who puts themselves before others
  • Responsible – someone who is capable of being in charge of a task
  • Considerate – someone who thinks about the needs of other people
  • Self-confident – someone who believes in themselves
  • Humble – someone who is meek and does not have a big ego

Let’s now take a look at some examples of how these character traits might be used to talk about a person.

  • Susan has been through a lot of tough times but it has made her stronger, she is a brave person.
  • My brother always puts me before himself, he is such an unselfish man.
  • Mike always encouraged others to be their best and guided them, he was a great leader.

Emotional And Physical

  • Rich/poor – talking about the material belongings of a person
  • Strong – someone who can handle a lot of emotional pressure
  • Dark – someone with a bad personality
  • Light – someone with a nice personality
  • Handsome – someone physically attractive which may show in their character.
  • Messy – someone who is disorganised.
  • Gentle – someone who is kind and soft, like a mother.
  • Wild – someone who is vivacious and outgoing.
  • Joyful – someone who is very happy
  • Busy – someone who is always occupied
  • Popular – someone who is loved by many.
  • Successful – someone who achieves a lot
  • Able – someone who is capable
  • Fighter – someone who gets through tough times
  • Expert – someone who is adept in a certain field.
  • Imaginative – someone who is creative.
  • Mischievous – someone who is impish

We will now take a look at how we can use these words to talk about someone’s character.

  • Sarah has so many friends at school and the same can be said in her adult life, she has always been a popular person.
  • John constantly makes hurtful remarks to others as a form of fun-he is a very dark person.
  • My sister excels in all she does, she is successful.


  • Thoughtful – someone who thinks of others
  • Creative – someone who has a good imagination
  • Intelligent – someone who is smart
  • Proud – someone with pride
  • Daring – someone who is not afraid to try new and adventurous things
  • Serious – someone who is not light and takes things seriously
  • Funny – someone who makes others laugh
  • Lazy – someone who avoids overexerting themselves
  • Dreamer – someone who has ambitions, not always realistic ones
  • Timid – someone who is shy
  • Ambitious – someone who aims to achieve
  • Bossy – someone who orders others around
  • Impulsive – someone who acts spontaneously

Let’s now take a look at how we can use these character traits to talk about a person or fictional character.

  • My mother is forever telling people what to do, she can’t help it, shes just a bossy person.
  • My old English teacher never gave us an entertaining lesson, he was too much of a serious man.
  • Sally doesn’t feel comfortable talking to new people, she is very timid.
  • I am going to China next week, it’s a spur of the moment vacation but I’ve always been impulsive that way.


The character trait is something that is very useful in talking about a person and what they are like. The character trait is something which is made up from various personality traits and could be anything from an emotion to a moral or belief and anything in between.

Quite often, writers will employ the use of a character trait as a way of making a more unique personality for their characters as well as bringing them to life and making them feel more like real people.

Character Traits Infographic

Character TraitsPin

Character Traits Video

Learn useful words to describe character with American English pronunciation.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

It’s really useful words for our daily conversation. It sounds excellent.

11 months ago
Reply to  Anuvarshini


Meh neh Meh neh. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo.
Meh neh Meh neh. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo.
1 year ago

I like how these give me the definition and the actual word. Also I love using this for my Pre-K class. They learn so much from this.

Meh neh Meh neh. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo.
Meh neh Meh neh. Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo.
1 year ago

I need company please someone talk to me in the chat box also check out my youtube channel its (I no this sounds kinda silly) DJKarokeNight2010 plz subscribe I am in need of followers

1 year ago

If You want You can Talk With Me.(
Listen Digital Followers Just Give you an illusion Of Happiness but in Reality You are wasting a lot of time
(Hope You Don’t Mind Just Giving Advice
At the end you decide What you will be)

1 year ago

please where is the video

1 year ago

who likes characters because i love characters

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x