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Character Traits List & Examples

Character traits are the individual characteristics and qualities that make characters from books, stories, movies, plays, and other art forms come to life for readers.

Just like real people, literary characters have behaviors, attitudes, traits, and beliefs that give them a unique personality. These can be surface characteristics, like personality or physical traits - or they can be deeply-held values and morals. Writers develop characters with myriad traits to help readers build empathy or antipathy, relate to the narrative, create realism, and develop various plot points and storylines.

Grades:
3 |
8
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Use this list of literary character traits when developing your own characters, or as a reference for describing characters in books, stories, movies, and other narratives.

Values, Morals, and Beliefs Character Traits

  • Honest
  • Brave
  • Compassionate
  • Leader
  • Courageous
  • Unselfish
  • Loyal
  • Hard-working
  • Independent
  • Selfish
  • Responsible
  • Considerate
  • Self-confident
  • Humble

Physical and Emotional Character Traits

  • Poor
  • Rich
  • Strong
  • Tall
  • Dark
  • Light
  • Handsome
  • Pretty
  • Ugly
  • Messy
  • Gentle
  • Wild
  • Joyful
  • Busy
  • Patriotic
  • Neat
  • Popular
  • Successful
  • Short
  • Prim
  • Proper
  • Dainty
  • Able
  • Fighter
  • Tireless
  • Plain
  • Expert
  • Imaginative
  • Conceited
  • Mischievous

Personality Character Traits

  • Demanding
  • Thoughtful
  • Keen
  • Happy
  • Disagreeable
  • Simple
  • Fancy
  • Plain
  • Excited
  • Studious
  • Inventive
  • Creative
  • Thrilling
  • Intelligent
  • Proud
  • Fun-loving
  • Daring
  • Bright
  • Serious
  • Funny
  • Humorous
  • Sad
  • Lazy
  • Dreamer
  • Helpful
  • Simple-minded
  • Friendly
  • Adventurous
  • Timid
  • Shy
  • Pitiful
  • Cooperative
  • Lovable
  • Ambitious
  • Quiet
  • Curious
  • Reserved
  • Pleasing
  • Bossy
  • Witty
  • Energetic
  • Cheerful
  • Smart
  • Impulsive
  • Humorous
  • Sad
  • Lazy
  • Dreamer
  • Helpful

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