[ krit-uh-siz-uhm ]
See synonyms for: criticismcriticisms on

  1. the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.

  2. the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.

  1. the act or art of analyzing and evaluating or judging the quality of a literary or artistic work, musical performance, art exhibit, dramatic production, etc.

  2. a critical comment, article, or essay; critique.

  3. any of various methods of studying texts or documents for the purpose of dating or reconstructing them, evaluating their authenticity, analyzing their content or style, etc.: historical criticism; literary criticism.

  4. investigation of the text, origin, etc., of literary documents, especially Biblical ones: textual criticism.

Origin of criticism

First recorded in 1600–10; critic + -ism

synonym study For criticism

4. See review.

Other words for criticism

Other words from criticism

  • coun·ter·crit·i·cism, noun
  • o·ver·crit·i·cism, noun
  • pre·crit·i·cism, noun

Words that may be confused with criticism

Words Nearby criticism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use criticism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for criticism


/ (ˈkrɪtɪˌsɪzəm) /

  1. the act or an instance of making an unfavourable or severe judgment, comment, etc

  2. the analysis or evaluation of a work of art, literature, etc

  1. the occupation of a critic

  2. a work that sets out to evaluate or analyse

  3. Also called: textual criticism the investigation of a particular text, with related material, in order to establish an authentic text

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