[ kroo-shuhl ]
/ ˈkru ʃəl /


involving an extremely important decision or result; decisive; critical: a crucial experiment.
severe; trying.
of the form of a cross; cross-shaped.



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Origin of crucial

1700–10; <Latin cruci- (stem of crux) cross + -al1

OTHER WORDS FROM crucial Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020


What does crucial mean?

Crucial means extremely important or involving an extremely important decision or course of action. Close synonyms are critical and decisive.

The word crucial is usually used to describe pivotal moments, choices, or actions that will affect everything that follows, as in We’re at a crucial point in the process—we need to make some big decisions. 

Sometimes, crucial is simply used to describe something that’s extremely important, as in Getting enough sleep is crucial for staying healthy.  

Example: I can’t express how absolutely crucial it is to surround yourself with the right friends.

Where does crucial come from?

The first records of the word crucial come from around the early 1700s. It comes from the Latin crux, which means “cross” and is also the root of the English word crux, meaning “a vital, basic, decisive, or pivotal point.”

Crucial decisions about crucial actions need to be made at crucial times. These crucial points in time are like a crossroads leading to very different directions or different outcomes.

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What are some other forms of crucial?

  • crucially (adverb)
  • cruciality (noun)

What are some synonyms for crucial?

What are some words that share a root or word element with crucial


What are some words that often get used in discussing crucial?


How is crucial used in real life?

The word crucial is typically used in the discussion of pivotal moments or decisions.



Try using crucial!

Which of the following words is NOT a synonym of crucial?

A. optional
B. critical
C. imperitive
D. important

Example sentences from the Web for crucial

British Dictionary definitions for crucial

/ (ˈkruːʃəl) /


involving a final or supremely important decision or event; decisive; critical
informal very important
slang very good

Derived forms of crucial

crucially, adverb

Word Origin for crucial

C18: from French, from Latin crux cross
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