inclined to find fault or to judge with severity, often too readily: Parents who are too critical make their children anxious.
involving criticism, or skillful judgment as to truth, merit, etc.:The article provides a critical analysis of the Gulf War.
occupied with or skilled in criticism: She was one of the great critical journalists of the 20th century.
of or relating to critics or criticism, especially of literature, film, music, etc.: Critical appreciation of this author’s work has peaked in recent years.
providing textual variants, proposed emendations, etc.: The library has a new critical edition of Chaucer.
of the nature of a crisis; threatening a seriously bad outcome; grave: There was a critical shortage of food.
of decisive importance with respect to the outcome; crucial: The nation is facing a critical moment in its history.
Medicine/Medical. having unstable and abnormal vital signs and other unfavorable indicators, as loss of appetite, poor mobility, or unconsciousness:The patient has been upgraded from critical to stable.
pertaining to a state, value, or quantity at which one or more properties of a substance or system undergo a change: The critical temperature of benzene is 289° C.
(of fissionable material) having enough mass to sustain a chain reaction: They told us about a lab where some plutonium went critical.
- crit·i·cal·ly, adverb
- crit·i·cal·i·ty [-krit-i-kal-i-tee], / ˌkrɪt ɪˈkæl ɪ ti/, crit·i·cal·ness, noun
- an·ti·crit·i·cal, adjective
- non·crit·i·cal, adjective
- pseu·do·crit·i·cal, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use critical in a sentence
Now, “I’m more cautious and more critical of what someone’s saying in their bio,” Ogalo says, adding that any comments making light of the coronavirus are automatic left-swipes.
Federal prosecutors and the FBI have accused self-identified Proud Boys of leading some of the earliest, most destructive and critical efforts to overrun police lines and break into the Capitol building.Five more charged in Capitol riot allegedly teamed with Kansas City Proud Boys | Spencer Hsu, Rachel Weiner | February 11, 2021 | Washington Post
Collaboration with the Schneider Electric site analytics team was critical for measurement as well, with bounce rate and site engagement becoming key user experience measurement metrics.Case study: Schneider Electric’s digital transformation through centralized search | Evan Kent and Kimberly Dutcher | February 11, 2021 | Search Engine Watch
Working as an ESPN broadcaster after 10 years coaching Kansas City, Schottenheimer had been highly critical of Snyder’s early moves as owner.Marty Schottenheimer’s legacy can be measured in teams’ regret over letting him go | Leonard Shapiro | February 9, 2021 | Washington Post
The right equipment for the type of job you’re doing is critical for safety.Welding gloves to keep you safe and comfortable on the job | PopSci Commerce Team | February 9, 2021 | Popular-Science
Dossi initially was listed in critical condition with wounds to his arm and lower back.
Dear Thief is worthy of the abused critical adjectives philosophical, atmospheric, and masterful.
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 | M.L. Nestel | December 22, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Truth is, no one is sure how Cuba will play in the critical swing state of Florida in 2016.
And the actor says his childhood experience plays a critical role in his performance.
These are few and verbal, but momentous, and were not made without consultation of many critical authorities and versions.Solomon and Solomonic Literature | Moncure Daniel Conway
The Colonel left, and in a few days the election coming off, each candidate made his appearance at the critical German polls.The Book of Anecdotes and Budget of Fun; | Various
He was threatened with erysipelas, and there was a rather critical inflammation of the left eye.Checkmate | Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu
Later on he became intensely critical of his own work, and finally bought up all the copies he could lay hands on and burnt them!Music-Study in Germany | Amy Fay
“I thought she wos wery plump, and vell made,” said Mr. Weller, with a critical air.The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, v. 2(of 2) | Charles Dickens
British Dictionary definitions for critical
containing or making severe or negative judgments
containing careful or analytical evaluations: a critical dissertation
of or involving a critic or criticism
of or forming a crisis; crucial; decisive: a critical operation
urgently needed: critical 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 change: a 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
- critically, adverb
- criticalness, 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