The LDOCE defines character and personality as follows:

  • Character: the particular combination of qualities that makes someone a particular type of person
  • Personality: someone’s character, especially the way they behave towards other people

My only takeaway from these is that personality may be an aspect of character but not vice versa.

So what are the differences between character and personality? Which categories do traits like generosity, kindness, rashness, sensibility, humorousness, persuasiveness, charisma belong to. Illustrative examples would be appreciated.

  • 1
    You've never known someone who was friendly and outgoing and who always seemed agreeable, but who would rob you blind given the opportunity?
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 19, 2017 at 11:26
  • (Note that there's another definition of "character".)
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 19, 2017 at 11:28

2 Answers 2


the word character is used when talking about whether someone is good or bad, or honest or dishonest and the word personality when talking about a person's particular behavior in social situations, e.g. friendly or unfriendly


A simple search will give many references, but briefly and generally:

Personality refers to surface, social qualities like friendliness, humor, and agreeability.

Character refers to the underlying moral qualities of one's nature, including honesty and dependability.

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