critical

/krit"i keuhl/, adj.
1. inclined to find fault or to judge with severity, often too readily.
2. occupied with or skilled in criticism.
3. involving skillful judgment as to truth, merit, etc.; judicial: a critical analysis.
4. of or pertaining to critics or criticism: critical essays.
5. providing textual variants, proposed emendations, etc.: a critical edition of Chaucer.
6. pertaining to or of the nature of a crisis: a critical shortage of food.
7. of decisive importance with respect to the outcome; crucial: a critical moment.
8. of essential importance; indispensable: a critical ingredient.
9. Med. (of a patient's condition) having unstable and abnormal vital signs and other unfavorable indicators, as loss of appetite, poor mobility, or unconsciousness.
10. Physics.
a. pertaining to a state, value, or quantity at which one or more properties of a substance or system undergo a change.
b. (of fissionable material) having enough mass to sustain a chain reaction.
[1580-90; CRITIC + -AL1]
Syn. 1. captious, censorious, carping, faultfinding, caviling. 3. discriminating, exact, precise.

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(as used in expressions)
critical care unit

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Universalium. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Critical — Crit ic*al (kr[i^]t [i^]*kal), a. [See {Critic}, n., {Crisis}.] [1913 Webster] 1. Qualified to criticise, or pass judgment upon, literary or artistic productions. [1913 Webster] It is submitted to the judgment of more critical ears to direct and… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • critical — UK US /ˈkrɪtɪkəl/ adjective ► extremely important to the progress or success of something: critical to/for sth »Logistics and distribution are critical to an e commerce venture s success. »Critical decisions need to be taken. »We see this as a… …   Financial and business terms

  • critical — 1 Critical, hypercritical, faultfinding, captious, caviling, carping, censorious are comparable when they mean exhibiting the spirit of one who detects and points out faults or defects. Critical, when applied to persons who judge and to their… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • critical — [krit′i kəl] adj. 1. tending to find fault; censorious 2. characterized by careful analysis and judgment [a sound critical estimate of the problem] 3. of critics or criticism 4. of or forming a crisis or turning point; decisive 5. dangerous or… …   English World dictionary

  • critical — 1580s, censorious, from CRITIC (Cf. critic) + AL (Cf. al) (1). Meaning pertaining to criticism is from 1741; medical sense is from c.1600; meaning of the nature of a crisis is from 1640s; that of crucial is from 1841, from the decisive sense in L …   Etymology dictionary

  • critical — I (crucial) adjective acute, anceps, chief, climacteric, climactic, commanding, considerable, deciding, decisive, determining, dubius, essential, eventful, exigent, far reaching, fateful, foremost, grave, imperative, important, imposing, key,… …   Law dictionary

  • critical — [adj1] fault finding, detracting analytical, belittling, biting, calumniatory, captious, carping, caviling, cavillous, censorious, censuring, choleric, condemning, critic, cutting, cynical, demanding, demeaning, derogatory, diagnostic,… …   New thesaurus

  • critical — ► ADJECTIVE 1) expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgements. 2) expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work. 3) having a decisive importance in the success or failure of something;… …   English terms dictionary

  • critical — crit|i|cal W2S2 [ˈkrıtıkəl] adj ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1¦(criticizing)¦ 2¦(important)¦ 3¦(serious/worrying)¦ 4¦(ill)¦ 5 the critical list 6¦(making judgments)¦ 7¦(art/literature)¦ ▬▬▬▬▬▬▬ 1.) ¦(CRITICIZING)¦ if you are critical, you criticize s …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • critical — crit|i|cal [ krıtıkl ] adjective *** ▸ 1 saying when something is wrong ▸ 2 very important ▸ 3 difficult to deal with ▸ 4 seriously sick/injured ▸ 5 according to critics ▸ 6 considering carefully ▸ 7 at level something happens ▸ + PHRASES 1. )… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • critical — [[t]krɪ̱tɪk(ə)l[/t]] ♦♦ 1) ADJ GRADED A critical time, factor, or situation is extremely important. The incident happened at a critical point in the campaign... Environmentalists say a critical factor in the city s pollution is its population...… …   English dictionary

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