Difference Between Features and Characteristics

Main Difference – Features vs Characteristics

Features and characteristics are two commonly used nouns in the English language. These two words are sometimes even used together as ‘features and characteristics’ to refer to attributes or qualities of something. The meanings of these two nouns overlap to a large extent. However, there is also a subtle difference between features and characteristics. Features refer to an important quality or ability of something whereas characteristics refer to unique qualities that make something or someone different from others. This is the main difference between features and characteristics. Difference Between Business Ethics and Personal Ethics - infographic

What are Features

Feature refers to an interesting or important part, quality, ability, etc. of something.  For example, when we are talking about various aspects of a product, we tend to use the word features.

I was asked to explain the features and specifications of the new iPhone.

We’ll combine the best features of both products and invent a brand new product.

This new model includes several new safety features.

When we are using the word feature to describe people, it refers to the physical appearance of a person. Facial features, shape, size and color, their bodies, etc. are the features of a person.

Her topaz eyes were her best features.

He had dark black hair and strong features.

These two species do not share any common physical features.

Difference Between Features and Characteristics

She explored the features of the new phone.

What are Characteristics

Characteristics refer to an attribute or quality belonging typically to a person, place, or thing and serving to identify them. It is these qualities that make them different from others.

When the word characteristics is used to describe a person, it refers to unique qualities of a person that are not physically visible. Person’s mannerisms, personality traits, talents, intelligence, other unique qualities are examples of characteristics.  

Characteristic (singular) can also be used as an adjective to denote that something typical of a particular person, place, or thing.

The relatively small size is a prominent characteristic of their race.

He cited five characteristics of nonverbal communication.

Can you please explain the characteristics of a market economy?

Main Difference - Features vs Characteristics

Difference Between Features and Characteristics

Meaning 

Features refer to an interesting or important part, quality, ability, etc. of something.

Characteristics refer to unique qualities that make something or someone different from others.

People

comment refer to the physical appearance of a person. 

Characteristics refer to qualities or attributes of a person. 

Grammatical Category 

Feature is a noun.

Characteristic is a noun and an adjective.

Image Courtesy:

“National Characteristics LCCN2003668091” By British Cartoon Prints Collection – Library of CongressCatalog:, (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

“Phone” (Public Domain) via Pixbay

About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.