- 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
Synonyms for critical
- not containing or making severe or negative judgments
- 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 noncritical
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.