- 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 critically
Most critically, the split perspectives of Noah and Alison need to marry more elegantly.What On Earth Is ‘The Affair’ About? Season One’s Baffling Finale
December 22, 2014
This is a critically important role, and something I've seen firsthand.The Valerie Jarrett I Know: How She Saved the Obama Campaign and Why She’s Indispensable
November 18, 2014
The film was critically panned upon its release, but has since gained a cult following.Charles Dance on Tywin Lannister’s S5 Return, A ‘Game of Thrones’ Movie,’ and Sexy Peter Dinklage
November 18, 2014
Most people pay attention to this only in regards the Supreme Court, but the lower courts are also critically important.Who Controls the Senate Controls the Courts
Geoffrey R. Stone
November 2, 2014
The Hangover star, currently in the critically acclaimed Birdman, certainly knows how to bring the funny as well as the awkward.Brad Pitt and Louis C.K. Go ‘Between Two Ferns’
Alex Chancey, The Daily Beast Video
October 23, 2014
"They're pretty well fixed here," observed Kingozi critically.The Leopard Woman
Stewart Edward White
He looked at them critically and replied: "Certainly they are lean."Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
She looked at him critically, her head a little on one side.People of Position
Stanley Portal Hyatt
He stared critically, and remained staring, but not critically.Louisiana Lou
William West Winter
And the man who "must be there himself" was critically ill and unconscious!The Rise of Roscoe Paine
Joseph C. Lincoln
- 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 critically
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.