- Inclined to find fault or criticize; fastidious; captious; censorious; exacting.
A good teacher is fair but critical.
- Pertaining to, or indicating, a crisis or turning point.
This is a critical moment.
1892, Walter Besant, “Prologue: Who is Edmund Gray?”, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, OCLC 16832619:
- 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.
- Extremely important.
It's critical that you deliver this on time.
2013 September-October, Katie L. Burke, “In the News”, in 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.
- Relating to criticism or careful analysis, such as literary or film criticism.
The movie was a critical success, but bombed at the box-office.
- (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.
- 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.
- (physics) Of the point (in temperature, reagent concentration etc.) where a nuclear or chemical reaction becomes self-sustaining.
The reaction was about to become critical.
- (physics) Of a temperature that is equal to the temperature of the critical point of a substance, i.e. the temperature above which the substance cannot be liquefied.
Terms derived from critical
inclined to find fault
pertaining to or indicating a crisis
relating to criticism
medicine: involving unstable vital signs
likely to go wrong
of the point where a reaction becomes self-sustaining
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.
critical (plural criticals)
- 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.
- In breakdancing, a kind of airflare move in which the dancer hops from one hand to the other.