Origin of critical

First recorded in 1580–90; critic + -al1
Related formscrit·i·cal·ly, adverbcrit·i·cal·i·ty, crit·i·cal·ness, nounan·ti·crit·i·cal, adjectivean·ti·crit·i·cal·ly, adverban·ti·crit·i·cal·ness, nounhalf-crit·i·cal, adjectivehalf-crit·i·cal·ly, adverbhalf-crit·i·cal·ness, nounnon·crit·i·cal, adjectivenon·crit·i·cal·ly, adverbnon·crit·i·cal·ness, nounpost·crit·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·crit·i·cal, adjectivepseu·do·crit·i·cal·ly, adverbqua·si-crit·i·cal, adjectivequa·si-crit·i·cal·ly, adverb

Synonyms for critical Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for critically

Contemporary Examples of critically

Historical Examples of critically

  • "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

British Dictionary definitions for critically



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 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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

critically in Medicine




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.