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From New Latin criterion, from Ancient Greek κριτήριον (kritḗrion, a test, a means of judging), from κριτής (kritḗs, judge), from κρίνω (krínō, to judge); see critic.


  • IPA(key): /kɹaɪˈtɪəɹi.ən/, /kɹɪˈtɪəɹi.ən/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɪɹiən


criterion (plural criteria)

  1. A standard or test by which individual things or people may be compared and judged.
    Criterion of choice, of decision, of selection
    • 1986, Piotr Buczkowski; Andrzej Klawiter, editors, Theories of Ideology and Ideology of Theories[1], Rodopi, →ISBN, ISSN 0303-8157, page 57:
      The Enlightment worldview, which considered the order of "Nature" as a basis and, at the same time, the subject of explorations of scientific natural sciences, has, at the same time, considered this order as a criterion of the artistically-aesthetic qualities of art. From an "ideological" point of view, it liberated art from its feudal religious and courtly servitude.
    • 2013 November 30, Paul Davis, “Letters: Say it as simply as possible”, in The Economist[2], volume 409, number 8864:
      Congratulations on managing to use the phrase “preponderant criterion” in a chart (“On your marks”, November 9th). Was this the work of a kakorrhaphiophobic journalist set a challenge by his colleagues, or simply an example of glossolalia?

Usage notesEdit

  • The plural form criterions also exists, but is much less common.
  • The form criteria is sometimes used as a nonstandard singular form (as in a criteria, this criteria, and so on), with corresponding plural form criterias. In this use, it sometimes means “a single criterion”, sometimes “a set of criteria”.

Related termsEdit


Further readingEdit




From Ancient Greek κριτήριον (kritḗrion).



criterion n (genitive criteriī); second declension

  1. criterion


Second-declension noun (neuter, Greek-type).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative criterion criteria
Genitive criteriī criteriōrum
Dative criteriō criteriīs
Accusative criterion criteria
Ablative criteriō criteriīs
Vocative criterion criteria


  • Catalan: criteri
  • Dutch: criterium
  • English: criterion
  • German: Kriterium
  • Italian: criterio
  • Spanish: criterio