Last modified on 15 December 2014, at 03:28

critical

EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From the suffix -al and Latin criticus, from Ancient Greek κριτικός (kritikós, of or for judging, able to discern) < κρίνω (krínō, I separate, judge), also the root of crisis).

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

critical (comparative more critical, superlative most critical)

  1. Inclined to find fault or criticize; fastidious; captious; censorious; exacting.
    A good teacher is fair but critical.
  2. Pertaining to, or indicating, a crisis or turning point.
    This is a critical moment.
    • 1893, Walter Besant, The Ivory Gate, Prologue:
      Such a scandal as the prosecution of a brother for forgery—with a verdict of guilty—is a most truly horrible, deplorable, fatal thing. It takes the respectability out of a family perhaps at a critical moment, when the family is just assuming the robes of respectability: [] it is a black spot which all the soaps ever advertised could never wash off.
  3. Extremely important.
    It's critical that you deliver this on time.
    • 2013 September-October, Katie L. Burke, “In the News”, American Scientist: 
      Oxygen levels on Earth skyrocketed 2.4 billion years ago, when cyanobacteria evolved photosynthesis: [] . The evolutionary precursor of photosynthesis is still under debate, and a new study sheds light. The critical component of the photosynthetic system is the “water-oxidizing complex”, made up of manganese atoms and a calcium atom.
  4. Relating to criticism or careful analysis, such as literary or film criticism.
    The movie was a critical success, but bombed at the box-office.
  5. (medicine) Of a patient condition involving unstable vital signs and a prognosis that predicts the condition could worsen; or, a patient condition that requires urgent treatment in an intensive care or critical care medical facility.
    The patient's condition is critical.
  6. Likely to go out of control if disturbed, that is, opposite of stable.
    The political situation was so critical that the government declared the state of siege.
  7. Of the point (in temperature, reagent concentration etc.) where a nuclear or chemical reaction becomes self-sustaining.
    The reaction was about to become critical.

Derived termsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

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See alsoEdit

NounEdit

critical (plural criticals)

  1. A critical value, factor, etc.
    • 1976, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Journal of engineering for industry (volume 98, page 508)
      The second undamped system criticals show a greater percentage depression than the first.
    • 2008, John J. Coyle, C. John Langley, Brian Gibson, Supply Chain Management: A Logistics Perspective (page 564)
      Finally, criticals are high-risk, high-value items that give the final product a competitive advantage in the marketplace [] Criticals, in part, determine the customer's ultimate cost of using the finished product — in our example, the computer.

External linksEdit