[ krahy-sis ]
See synonyms for: crisiscrises on

noun,plural cri·ses [krahy-seez]. /ˈkraɪ siz/.
  1. 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.

  2. a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.

  1. a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person's life.

  2. Medicine/Medical.

    • 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.

  3. the point in a play or story at which hostile elements are most tensely opposed to each other.

  1. of, referring to, or for use in dealing with a crisis.

Origin of crisis

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English, from Latin crisis “(medical) crisis,” from Greek krísis “decision, interpretation,” equivalent to kri- variant stem of krīnein “to decide, separate, judge” + -sis -sis

synonym study For crisis

1. See emergency.

Other words from crisis

  • crisic, adjective
  • post·cri·sis, adjective, noun, plural post·cri·ses.

Words Nearby crisis Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use crisis in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for crisis


/ (ˈkraɪsɪs) /

nounplural -ses (-siːz)
  1. a crucial stage or turning point in the course of something, esp in a sequence of events or a disease

  2. an unstable period, esp one of extreme trouble or danger in politics, economics, etc

  1. pathol a sudden change, for better or worse, in the course of a disease

Origin of crisis

C15: from Latin: decision, from Greek krisis, from krinein to decide

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