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.
crucial (comparative more crucial, superlative most crucial)
- 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:
- 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.
- (archaic) Cruciform or cruciate; cross-shaped.
- (slang, especially Jamaica, Bermuda) Very good; excellent; particularly applied to reggae music.
- Delbert Wilkins is the most crucial pirate radio DJ in Brixton.
- ^ Francis Bacon (1620) Novum Organum [New Organon] (in Latin), XXXVI: “Inter praerogativas instantiarum, ponemus loco decimo quarto Instantias Crucis; translato vocabulo a Crucibus, quae erectae in biviis indicant et signant viarum separationes.”
From a root of Latin crux (“cross”). The sense of "crucial" is a semantic loan from English crucial.
crucial (feminine cruciale, masculine plural cruciaux, feminine plural cruciales)
- → English: crucial
- “crucial”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)
crucial m or f (plural cruciais)
For quotations using this term, see Citations:crucial.
- “crucial” in Dicionário Aberto based on Novo Diccionário da Língua Portuguesa de Cândido de Figueiredo, 1913
crucial m or n (feminine singular crucială, masculine plural cruciali, feminine and neuter plural cruciale)
- crucial in DEX online - Dicționare ale limbii române (Dictionaries of the Romanian language)
Borrowed from English crucial.
- IPA(key): (Spain) /kɾuˈθjal/ [kɾuˈθjal]
- IPA(key): (Latin America) /kɾuˈsjal/ [kɾuˈsjal]
- Rhymes: -al
- Syllabification: cru‧cial
crucial (plural cruciales)
- “crucial”, in Diccionario de la lengua española, Vigésima tercera edición, Real Academia Española, 2014
- English terms derived from Proto-Indo-European
- English terms derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *(s)ker- (turn)
- English terms borrowed from French
- English terms derived from French
- English 2-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- Rhymes:English/uːʃəl/2 syllables
- English lemmas
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- English slang
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- French 2-syllable words
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- French lemmas
- French adjectives
- Portuguese 3-syllable words
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- Portuguese terms with IPA pronunciation
- Rhymes:Portuguese/al/3 syllables
- Rhymes:Portuguese/aw/3 syllables
- Portuguese lemmas
- Portuguese adjectives
- Romanian terms borrowed from French
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- Romanian lemmas
- Romanian adjectives
- Spanish terms borrowed from English
- Spanish terms derived from English
- Spanish 2-syllable words
- Spanish terms with IPA pronunciation
- Rhymes:Spanish/al/2 syllables
- Spanish lemmas
- Spanish adjectives