- inclined to find fault or to judge with severity, often too readily.
- occupied with or skilled in criticism.
- involving skillful judgment as to truth, merit, etc.; judicial: a critical analysis.
- of or relating to critics or criticism: critical essays.
- providing textual variants, proposed emendations, etc.: a critical edition of Chaucer.
- pertaining to or of the nature of a crisis: a critical shortage of food.
- of decisive importance with respect to the outcome; crucial: a critical moment.
- of essential importance; indispensable: a critical ingredient.
- Medicine/Medical. (of a patient's condition) having unstable and abnormal vital signs and other unfavorable indicators, as loss of appetite, poor mobility, or unconsciousness.
- pertaining to a state, value, or quantity at which one or more properties of a substance or system undergo a change.
- (of fissionable material) having enough mass to sustain a chain reaction.
Origin of critical
SynonymsSee more synonyms for critical on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for critical
Dossi initially was listed in critical condition with wounds to his arm and lower back.Shot Down During the NYPD Slowdown
January 7, 2015
But by the time a critical wanted poster sent via fax arrived, more than two hours elapsed.Alleged Cop Killer Ismaaiyl Brinsley Had a Death Wish
December 22, 2014
Truth is, no one is sure how Cuba will play in the critical swing state of Florida in 2016.How Will Cuba Play In Peoria?
December 21, 2014
And the actor says his childhood experience plays a critical role in his performance.After The Fall: Introducing The Anti-Villain
December 21, 2014
The outcome of the rum feud is critical for both Bacardi and Pernod Ricard, because the winner could net billions in future sales.Why Congress Hates Your Cuban Rum
December 19, 2014
Do Ministers deserve no credit for hitting on this critical device?
It was at this critical moment that Cassidy entered from the opposite side of the office.Within the Law
The best biography of Handel and critical study of his works in English.Handel
Edward J. Dent
I should think Mr. Hynes would be too critical to admire Milly.The Bacillus of Beauty
There is no doubt that many doors have been opened by critical methods.Understanding the Scriptures
- 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
Word Origin and History for critical
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.
- 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.