[ krit-uh-siz-uhm ]
/ ˈkrɪt əˌsɪz əm /
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See synonyms for: criticism / criticisms on Thesaurus.com


the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.
the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.
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.
a critical comment, article, or essay; critique.
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.
investigation of the text, origin, etc., of literary documents, especially Biblical ones: textual criticism.



In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.

Origin of criticism

First recorded in 1600–10; critic + -ism
4. See review.
coun·ter·crit·i·cism, nouno·ver·crit·i·cism, nounpre·crit·i·cism, noun
critic, criticism , critique
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for criticism

/ (ˈkrɪtɪˌsɪzəm) /


the act or an instance of making an unfavourable or severe judgment, comment, etc
the analysis or evaluation of a work of art, literature, etc
the occupation of a critic
a work that sets out to evaluate or analyse
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
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