critical

[krit-i-kuhl]

adjective


Nearby words

  1. crit.,
  2. criteria,
  3. criterion,
  4. crithidia,
  5. critic,
  6. critical angle,
  7. critical apparatus,
  8. critical care unit,
  9. critical constant,
  10. critical constants

Origin of critical

First recorded in 1580–90; critic + -al1

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

Examples from the Web for critical


British Dictionary definitions for critical

critical

adjective

containing or making severe or negative judgments
containing careful or analytical evaluationsa critical dissertation
of or involving a critic or criticism
of or forming a crisis; crucial; decisivea critical operation
urgently neededcritical medical supplies
informal so seriously injured or ill as to be in danger of dying
physics of, denoting, or concerned with a state in which the properties of a system undergo an abrupt changea critical temperature
go critical (of a nuclear power station or reactor) to reach a state in which a nuclear-fission chain reaction becomes self-sustaining
Derived Formscritically, adverbcriticalness, noun

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 critical

critical

adj.

1580s, "censorious," from critic + -al (1). Meaning "pertaining to criticism" is from 1741; medical sense is from c.1600; meaning "of the nature of a crisis" is from 1640s; that of "crucial" is from 1841, from the "decisive" sense in Latin criticus. Related: Criticality (1756; in the nuclear sense, 1950); critically (1650s, "accurately;" 1815, "in a critical situation"). In nuclear science, critical mass is attested from 1940.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for critical

critical

[krĭtĭ-kəl]

adj.

Of or relating to a medical crisis.
Being or relating to a grave physical condition especially of a patient.
Of or relating to the value of a measurement, such as temperature, at which an abrupt change in a chemical of physical quality, property, or state occurs.

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