- a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.
- a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.
- a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person's life.
- the point in the course of a serious disease at which a decisive change occurs, leading either to recovery or to death.
- the change itself.
- the point in a play or story at which hostile elements are most tensely opposed to each other.
- of, referring to, or for use in dealing with a crisis.
Origin of crisis
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for crises
Last time Gazprom reduced staff was during the crises of 2008.How Crimea Crashed the Russian Economy
December 17, 2014
Echo has documented all the crises of the post-Perestroika era, wars, conflicts, scandals, and protests.The Kremlin Is Killing Echo of Moscow, Russia’s Last Independent Radio Station
November 7, 2014
And even Russian-subsidized programs have not brought nearly as many visitors to Crimea as before the crises.Putin's Crimea Is a Big Anti-Gay Casino
September 8, 2014
Putin mentioned the word before, during the Crimea crises last spring before he annexed the strategic peninsula.Putin Mocks the West, Puts His Own Prestige on the Line
August 29, 2014
The crises in Ukraine, Gaza, Iraq and Syria all trump the chaos in Tripoli and Benghazi.Libya: Requiem for a Revolution
August 7, 2014
There were two crises then, one on each floor of the big house.The Rise of Roscoe Paine
Joseph C. Lincoln
These crises were sharp, but they left a sweet taste in the memory.In a Little Town
The crises of her life did not usually find her so unprepared.A Woman for Mayor
Helen M. Winslow
This is one of the crises in which my theory of “inspiration first” may fail.The Untroubled Mind
Herbert J. Hall
There are two crises in the history of grave and sensitive natures.Critical Miscellanies, Vol. 3 (of 3)
- a crucial stage or turning point in the course of something, esp in a sequence of events or a disease
- an unstable period, esp one of extreme trouble or danger in politics, economics, etc
- pathol a sudden change, for better or worse, in the course of a disease
Word Origin and History for crises
early 15c., from Latinized form of Greek krisis "turning point in a disease" (used as such by Hippocrates and Galen), literally "judgment, result of a trial, selection," from krinein "to separate, decide, judge," from PIE root *krei- "to sieve, discriminate, distinguish" (cf. Greek krinesthai "to explain;" Old English hriddel "sieve;" Latin cribrum "sieve," crimen "judgment, crime," cernere (past participle cretus) "to sift, separate;" Old Irish criathar, Old Welsh cruitr "sieve;" Middle Irish crich "border, boundary"). Transferred non-medical sense is 1620s in English. A German term for "mid-life crisis" is Torschlusspanik, literally "shut-door-panic," fear of being on the wrong side of a closing gate.
- A sudden change in the course of a disease or fever, toward either improvement or deterioration.
- An emotionally stressful event or a traumatic change in one's life.