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[krit-ik] /ˈkrɪt ɪk/
a person who judges, evaluates, or criticizes:
a poor critic of men.
a person who judges, evaluates, or analyzes literary or artistic works, dramatic or musical performances, or the like, especially for a newspaper or magazine.
a person who tends too readily to make captious, trivial, or harsh judgments; faultfinder.
  1. criticism.
  2. critique.
Origin of critic
1575-85; < Latin criticus < Greek kritikós skilled in judging (adj.), critic (noun), equivalent to krī́t(ēs) judge, umpire (krī́(nein) to separate, decide + -tēs agent suffix) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
supercritic, noun
Can be confused
critic, criticism, critique.
2. reviewer, judge. 3. censurer, carper. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for critic
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Bellamy, says the critic, was only equal to the Cibber in expressing the ecstasy of love.

    Haunted London Walter Thornbury
  • First of all, the critic ought to be a person of sound judgment.

  • I reminded my critic that we had seen together on our honeymoon at Pisa a tower that had been leaning for centuries.

    Paris Vistas Helen Davenport Gibbons
  • I attribute this to my early recognition of the true function of a critic.

    The Talking Horse F. Anstey
  • In addition to the work of the producer there must be considered the function of the critic.

    The Potter's Craft Charles F. Binns
British Dictionary definitions for critic


a person who judges something
a professional judge of art, music, literature, etc
a person who often finds fault and criticizes
Word Origin
C16: from Latin criticus, from Greek kritikos capable of judging, from kritēs judge; see criterion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for critic

1580s, "one who passes judgment," from Middle French critique (14c.), from Latin criticus "a judge, literary critic," from Greek kritikos "able to make judgments," from krinein "to separate, decide" (see crisis). Meaning "one who judges merits of books, plays, etc." is from c.1600. The English word always had overtones of "censurer, faultfinder."

To understand how the artist felt, however, is not criticism; criticism is an investigation of what the work is good for. ... Criticism ... is a serious and public function; it shows the race assimilating the individual, dividing the immortal from the mortal part of a soul. [George Santayana, "The Life of Reason," 1906]

A perfect judge will read each work of wit
With the same spirit that its author writ;
[Pope, "An Essay on Criticism," 1709]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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