List of Character Traits

There could be many lists of character traits or character qualities. In fact, if you and I were each to make our own list of character traits it is likely that they would be somewhat different.
Sometimes, different words might be used to describe the same character trait – honesty and truthfulness, for example. Or your list might contain character traits that I didn’t think about and would have included if I had thought of them. It might be that one of us would include some things in our list that the other would not agree with. I might include intelligence in my list of character traits, but you might say that intelligence is not a character trait but an ability.
So, in the full knowledge that there may be other just as valid lists of character traits, I am presenting below one list that has been very helpful to me. The working definitions associated with each character trait are from Character First!(tm).
  • Alertness – Being aware of what is taking place around me so I can have the right responses.
  • Attentiveness – Showing the worth of a person or task by giving my undivided concentration. (see more)
  • Availability – Making my own schedule and priorities secondary to the wishes of those I serve.
  • Benevolence – Giving to others basic needs without having as my motive personal reward.
  • Boldness – Confidence that what I have to say or do is true, right, and just.
  • Cautiousness – Knowing how important right timing is in accomplishing right actions.
  • Compassion – Investing whatever is necessary to heal the hurts of others.
  • Contentment – Realizing that true happiness does not depend on material conditions.
  • Creativity – Approaching a need, a task, or an idea from a new perspective.
  • Decisiveness – The ability to recognize key factors and finalize difficult decisions.
  • Deference – Limiting my freedom so I do not offend the tastes of those around me.
  • Dependability – Fulfilling what I consented to do, even if it means unexpected sacrifice.
  • Determination – Purposing to accomplish right goals at the right time, regardless of the opposition.
  • Diligence – Investing my time and energy to complete each task assigned to me.
  • Discernment – Understanding the deeper reasons why things happen.
  • Discretion – Recognizing and avoiding words, actions, and attitudes that could bring undesirable consequences.
  • Endurance – The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best.
  • Enthusiasm – Expressing joy in each task as I give it my best effort.
  • Faith – Confidence that actions rooted in good character will yield the best outcome, even when I cannot see how.
  • Flexibility – Willingness to change plans or ideas according to the direction of my authorities.
  • Forgiveness – Clearing the record of those who have wronged me and not holding a grudge.
  • Generosity – Carefully managing my resources so I can freely give to those in need.
  • Gentleness – Showing consideration and personal concern for others.
  • Gratefulness – Letting others know by my words and actions how they have benefitted my life.
  • Honor – Respecting those in leadership because of the highter authorities they represent.
  • Hospitality – Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, or conversation to benefit others.
  • Humility – Acknowledging that achievement results from the investment of others in my life.
  • Initiative – Recognizing and doing what needs to be done before I am asked to do it.
  • Joyfulness – Maintaining a good attitude, even when faced with unpleasant conditions.
  • Justice – Taking personal responsibility to uphold what is pure, right, and true.
  • Loyalty – Using difficult times to demonstrate my commitment to those I serve.
  • Meekness – Yielding my personal rights and expectations with a desire to serve.
  • Obedience – Quickly and cheerfully carrying out the direction of those who are responsible for me.
  • Orderliness – Arranging myself and my surroundings to achieve greater efficiency.
  • Patience – Accepting a difficult situation without giving a deadline to remove it.
  • Persuasiveness – Guiding vital truths around another’s mental roadblocks.
  • Punctuality – Showing esteem for others by doing the right thing at the right time.
  • Resourcefulness – Finding practical uses for that which others would overlook or discard.
  • Responsibility – Knowing and doing what is expected of me.
  • Security – Structuring my life around that which cannot be destroyed or taken away.
  • Self-Control – Rejecting wrong desires and doing what is right.
  • Sensitivity – Perceiving the true attitudes and emotions of those around me.
  • Sincerity – Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives.
  • Thoroughness – Knowing what factors will diminish the effectiveness of my work or words if neglected.
  • Thriftiness – Allowing myself and others to spend only what is necessary.
  • Tolerance – Realizing that everyone is at varying levels of character development.
  • Truthfulness – Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.
  • Virtue – The moral excellen ce evident in my life as I consistently do what is right.
  • Wisdom – Seeing and responding to life situations from a perspective that transcends my current circumstances.

Character First! published booklets on each of these character qualities. Each booklet is designed to describe the quality more fully and give illustrations of how it is demonstrated in life. These booklets are valuable resources for those who wish to build good character qualities into their lives. Go here to learn more or to purchase the booklets.


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130 Responses

  1. azad says:

    i thinkit is important for everyone

  2. Stella says:

    Its really helpful.


    The list of Character traits are helpful to everyone.

  4. Emily says:

    This really helped me. I would honestly try to expand it more.

  5. Anonymous says:

    This website has really helped me understand the true meaning of words that i never knew the actual meaning to!:)

  6. Pat says:

    I love this! But there are two typos maybe 3.

  7. Pasang says:

    Excellent… this help me alot in knowing about my own character..

  8. nicole sky says:

    It is the best website in the world i recomend it

  9. Mechura Tejano says:

    I’m Mechura Tejano from 7, 107 islands of Philippines!!! 🙂
    1. Thank you so much for sharing your best traits here.
    2. My opinion is, as long as you are educated people or even when I was grades school kids, I knew what’s wrong and right already. In school we spend a lots of years to achieved everything who wished for to become professional and absolutely you memorized lots theories and techniques and strategies about developing your education. But I’m wondering, a best attitude and best character of attitude you can’t achieved well..
    3. Take note in life-no master and religious beliefs can let you rebirth in this world except your best attitude. No matter how tall your building you build, no matter how many airlines you have been invented, in the time of Judgement it’s not counted. Why your best and biggest achievements in human world is not counted?
    1. Who give you the permission to rebirth yourself in human world again, and locked your soul in in the womb of a richest woman married couple and automatically become a baby , that why you have called a family. Your obligation whenever you are in the higher positioned is to study well and your family can provide everything. And be a part of a journey of any invention or whatever your achievements are.
    4. You have to put that in yourself, from poor family rebirth to a richest family that’s the cycle of life. Now, it’s up to you how you can handle yourself if you would like to become abusive and stupid or else no rebirth for idiot people who are educated but continue to do wrong and continue to be blind for what is right and wrong for personal aim and personal intention.
    5. Almighty CREATOR of this magical world, no theories of science can explain that human body can’t invent either. It means after our death we have judges, to judge our soul and if your evil they let your soul suffer into become animals and forget you. Then , they make another new form of soul that are gifted, very talented and very clever with best attitudes..That’s it…

  10. Anonymous says:

    nothing is so black and white

  11. Vanessa says:

    What is (My vain heart weeps knowing he is mine)

  12. john abiola says:

    really be of help to me thanks

  13. Darren says:

    Complexity first. Traits don’t exist.

  14. harshika says:

    Thanks for this answer…

  15. cory gggg in ur class says:

    very good thanks for helping me out with my ss and i love pizza

  16. Rose says:

    Nice thxs for the help

  17. N8 says:

    This web is the best for ELA hw. Though they need to add more organized lists.

  18. Anonymous says:

    we need to understand this it is awesome.

  19. BB says:

    And there are personal values that we each place on certain traits and we would not consider them necessary and in fact detrimental to our own personal growth. And we give those traits different means as well. words like Meekness that many would feel means to be a human mat. winsome might be a better replacement word. Deference – Limiting my freedom so I do not offend the tastes of those around me. seems like a state of being trapped in ones need to please other for fear of being rejected. I would replace with free spirited or a sprite like! At the end of the day they are all just words and we give them values and meaning!

  20. Beverly says:

    I know the list wasn’t exhaustive, but it was great help.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Add more negative traits

    • Anonymous 321 says:

      I agree 🙂

    • Frank says:

      Try these-first is the good trait, followed by the negative trait in parentheses: Good Character (Bad Character)– Alertness (Carelessness)–Attentiveness (Distraction)–Availability (Self-centeredness)–Benevolence (Selfishness)–Boldness (Fearfulness)–Cautiousness (Rashness)–Compassion (Indifference)–Contentment (Covetousness)–Creativity (Underachievement)–Decisiveness (Procrastination)–Deference (Rudeness)–Dependability (Inconsistency)–Determination (Faintheartedness)–Diligence (Slothfulness)–Discernment (Shortsightedness)–Discretion (Simplemindedness)–Endurance (Discouragement)–Enthusiasm (Apathy)–Faith (Presumption)–Flexibility (Resistance)–Forgiveness (Rejection)–Generosity (Stinginess)–Gentleness (Harshness)–Gratefulness (Unthankfulness)–Honor (Disrespect)–Hospitality (Loneliness)–Humility (Arrogance)–Initiative (Idleness)–Joyfulness (Self-pity)–Justice (Corruption)–Loyalty (Unfaithfulness)–Meekness (Anger)–Obedience (Willfulness)–Orderliness (Confusion)–Patience (Restlessness)–Persuasiveness (Contentiousness)–Punctuality (Tardiness)–Resourcefulness (Wastefulness)–Responsibility (Unreliability)–Security (Anxiety)–Self-Control (Self-Indulgence)–Sensitivity (Callousness)–Sincerity (Hypocrisy)–Thoroughness (Incompleteness)–Thriftiness (Extravagance)–Tolerance (Prejudice)–Truthfulness (Deception)–Virtue (Impurity)–Wisdom (Foolishness)

    • Anonymous says:


  22. jonathonkaiser says:


  23. Kathy says:

    Would accepting be a character trait?

  24. Anonymous says:

    is shrinking a character trait?

  25. AKUA says:


  26. AKUA says:


  27. Sasha says:

    Thanks for giving me the answer s for my Ela hw

  28. ninja101 says:

    You should add more character traits and be a little more organized like have lists of positive and negative character traits and also lists of words people think are character traits but are actually not if i could give it a rating i would give it a 4 star review

    • Frank says:

      Good Character (Bad Character)– Alertness (Carelessness)–Attentiveness (Distraction)–Availability (Self-centeredness)–Benevolence (Selfishness)–Boldness (Fearfulness)–Cautiousness (Rashness)–Compassion (Indifference)–Contentment (Covetousness)–Creativity (Underachievement)–Decisiveness (Procrastination)–Deference (Rudeness)–Dependability (Inconsistency)–Determination (Faintheartedness)–Diligence (Slothfulness)–Discernment (Shortsightedness)–Discretion (Simplemindedness)–Endurance (Discouragement)–Enthusiasm (Apathy)–Faith (Presumption)–Flexibility (Resistance)–Forgiveness (Rejection)–Generosity (Stinginess)–Gentleness (Harshness)–Gratefulness (Unthankfulness)–Honor (Disrespect)–Hospitality (Loneliness)–Humility (Arrogance)–Initiative (Idleness)–Joyfulness (Self-pity)–Justice (Corruption)–Loyalty (Unfaithfulness)–Meekness (Anger)–Obedience (Willfulness)–Orderliness (Confusion)–Patience (Restlessness)–Persuasiveness (Contentiousness)–Punctuality (Tardiness)–Resourcefulness (Wastefulness)–Responsibility (Unreliability)–Security (Anxiety)–Self-Control (Self-Indulgence)–Sensitivity (Callousness)–Sincerity (Hypocrisy)–Thoroughness (Incompleteness)–Thriftiness (Extravagance)–Tolerance (Prejudice)–Truthfulness (Deception)–Virtue (Impurity)–Wisdom (Foolishness)

  29. Anonymous says:

    You should add more character traits because other sites have more of a variety and i am kind of leaning toward using a different site

  30. Okeyster says:

    Indeed, the wise will read and increase learning. My “Gratefulness” is; Blessed be the hand that put down these. Wisdom and “Understand” is the Bottom line. Pls; fix “Understanding” before alphabet “V”. Thanks.

  31. Ladi Daniel says:

    The more we read the more understanding we derive. Experience is the best teacher so to say, i have more understanding now. Thanks so much.

  32. Zahir says:

    This is really hard to find the word I need. Can the person who made this catagerise this.

  33. lkkcln says:

    nice but don’t help me

    • Larry says:

      I think it would help you a great deal if you would make it your goal to develop as many of the positive character traits as possible in your life. Don’t you think so?

  34. Stacy says:

    Loved this detailed list….awesome…I will take in a big long drink and hopefully be able to grow alot and help others in the Process…thank so much!

  35. Sayviyon says:

    this is so fun

  36. pavani says:

    it’s awesome and dese qualities really work to have gud character..

  37. Anonymous says:

    Is there a character trait for some one who gives up because of rejection nd then is filled with joy from no rejection from another person.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Thanks so much! 🙂

  39. John bosco says:


  40. John bosco says:

    Thisis wonderful ones

  41. Julia says:

    How do you categorize someone as a person with good or bad character ? There is no objective way of determining the same. But hopefully, the traits in this article will help you objectively decide what are good and bad character attributes.

  42. Helped a lot with homework!!!

  43. Anonymous says:

    its awsome

  44. christiana says:


  45. Anonymous says:

    The best blog I have every read about character traits

  46. Bernice Matei says:

    This is so impressive… Awesome lessons drawn from the article,thank you so much

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