Trait

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This word is borrowed from the French. There is a perfectly good equivalent in older English - 'characteristic' - but trait is a useful alternative, and can help a writer to avoid repetition. (Furthermore, it is short - which is a recommendation in the eyes of many student writers.)

It should, traditionally, be pronounced in the French manner, with the final '-t' silent, 'tray' (IPA: /tre/, or, in a more native English-speaker's realization /treɪ/}}, but it is also to be heard pronounced as it looks to an English eye: 'tray-t', IPA: /treɪt/.