crisis

[krahy-sis]

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.
Medicine/Medical.
  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.

adjective

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

Nearby words

  1. cripps,
  2. cripps, sir stafford,
  3. crise,
  4. crises,
  5. criseyde,
  6. crisis center,
  7. crisis management,
  8. crisis theology,
  9. crisp,
  10. crispate

Origin of crisis

1375–1425; late Middle English < Latin < Greek krísis decision, equivalent to kri- variant stem of krī́nein to decide, separate, judge + -sis -sis

Related formscri·sic, adjectivepost·cri·sis, adjective, noun, plural post·cri·ses.

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for crisis


British Dictionary definitions for crisis

crisis

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

Word Origin and History for crisis

crisis

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for crisis

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.