[ krahy-sis ]
/ ˈkraɪ sɪs /

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

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.
  1. the point in the course of a serious disease at which a decisive change occurs, leading either to recovery or to death.
  2. 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.



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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.


cri·sic, adjectivepost·cri·sis, adjective, noun, plural post·cri·ses. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for crisis

British Dictionary definitions for crisis

/ (ˈkraɪsɪs) /

noun plural -ses (-siːz)

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 for 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

Medical definitions for crisis

[ krīsĭs ]

n. pl. cri•ses (-sēz)

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.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.