The following is a definition of a characteristic:
Characteristic: A characteristic describes a fact. A characteristic or distinguishing aspect provides information necessary to describe a fact or distinguish one fact from another fact. A fact may have one or many distinguishing characteristics.
The document Understanding Characteristics explains characteristics, facts, and report components. The document helps you understand characteristics and use a very simple but very commonly mis-modeled report component, document information, to help you understand how to properly represent your financial information using XBRL.