English

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Etymology

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1706, from French crucial, a medical term for ligaments of the knee (which cross each other), from Latin crux, crucis (cross) (English crux), from the Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (to turn, to bend).

The meaning “decisive, critical” is extended from a logical term, Instantias Crucis, adopted by Francis Bacon in his influential Novum Organum (1620); the notion is of cross fingerboard signposts at forking roads, thus a requirement to choose.[1]

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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crucial (comparative more crucial, superlative most crucial)

  1. Essential or decisive for determining the outcome or future of something; extremely important; vital.
    Synonyms: see Thesaurus:important
    The battle of Tali-Ihantala in 1944 is one of the crucial moments in the history of Finland.
    A secure supply of crude oil is crucial for any modern nation, let alone a superpower.
    • 2014 March 7, Nicole Vulser, “Perfume manufacturers must cope with the scarcity of precious supplies”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 190, number 13, page 30:
      The perfume industry is facing a major problem: maintaining constant levels of quality is crucial, but it is increasingly difficult to obtain a regular supply of all the necessary natural ingredients.
    • 2018, Clarence Green, James Lambert, “Advancing disciplinary literacy through English for academic purposes: Discipline-specific wordlists, collocations and word families for eight secondary subjects”, in Journal of English for Academic Purposes, volume 35, →DOI, page 106:
      Vocabulary provides a foundation from which grammar, phonology, and morphology emerge, and in a subject area it provides access to conceptual knowledge. Vocabulary selection for pedagogical purposes is therefore crucial.
    • 2021 October 1, A Falun Dafa practitioner in France, “Using Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to Guide My Young Students”, in Minghui[1]:
      Language is crucial because it is the best weapon against violence. When children don’t have the words to express their thoughts, they raise their fists.
  2. (archaic) Cruciform or cruciate; cross-shaped.
  3. (slang, especially Jamaica, Bermuda) Very good; excellent; particularly applied to reggae music.
    Delbert Wilkins is the most crucial pirate radio DJ in Brixton.

Derived terms

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Descendants

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  • French: crucial (semantic loan)
  • Italian: cruciale
  • Spanish: crucial

Translations

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References

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  1. ^ Francis Bacon (1620) Novum Organum [New Organon] (in Latin), volume Two, section XXXVI:Inter praerogativas instantiarum, ponemus loco decimo quarto Instantias Crucis; translato vocabulo a Crucibus, quae erectae in biviis indicant et signant viarum separationes.

French

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Etymology

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From a root of Latin crux (cross). The sense of "crucial" is a semantic loan from English crucial.

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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crucial (feminine cruciale, masculine plural cruciaux, feminine plural cruciales)

  1. cruciform
  2. crucial, critical, vital

Descendants

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Further reading

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Portuguese

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Etymology

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(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)

Pronunciation

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  • (Brazil) IPA(key): /kɾu.siˈaw/ [kɾu.sɪˈaʊ̯], (faster pronunciation) /kɾuˈsjaw/ [kɾuˈsjaʊ̯]
 

  • Rhymes: (Portugal) -al, (Brazil) -aw
  • Hyphenation: cru‧ci‧al

Adjective

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crucial m or f (plural cruciais)

  1. crucial

Quotations

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For quotations using this term, see Citations:crucial.

Derived terms

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Further reading

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  • crucial” in Dicionário Aberto based on Novo Diccionário da Língua Portuguesa de Cândido de Figueiredo, 1913

Romanian

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Etymology

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Borrowed from French crucial.

Adjective

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crucial m or n (feminine singular crucială, masculine plural cruciali, feminine and neuter plural cruciale)

  1. pivotal

Declension

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Further reading

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Spanish

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Etymology

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Borrowed from English crucial.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): (Spain) /kɾuˈθjal/ [kɾuˈθjal]
  • IPA(key): (Latin America) /kɾuˈsjal/ [kɾuˈsjal]
  • Rhymes: -al
  • Syllabification: cru‧cial

Adjective

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crucial m or f (masculine and feminine plural cruciales)

  1. crucial

Derived terms

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Further reading

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