1 marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws; "a critical attitude" [ant: uncritical]
2 at or of a point at which a property or phenomenon suffers an abrupt change especially having enough mass to sustain a chain reaction; "a critical temperature of water is 100 degrees C--its boiling point at standard atmospheric pressure"; "critical mass"; "go critical" [ant: noncritical]
3 characterized by careful evaluation and judgment; "a critical reading"; "a critical dissertation"; "a critical analysis of Melville's writings" [ant: uncritical]
4 urgently needed; absolutely necessary; "a critical element of the plan"; "critical medical supplies"; "vital for a healthy society"; "of vital interest" [syn: vital]
5 forming or having the nature of a turning point or crisis; "a critical point in the campaign"; "the critical test" [syn: decisive]
6 being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency; "a critical shortage of food"; "a critical illness"; "an illness at the critical stage" [ant: noncritical]
7 of or involving or characteristic of critics or criticism; "critical acclaim"
EtymologyFrom Ancient Greek κριτικός (kritikos) "of or for judging, able to discern" < κρίσις "crisis"
- Inclined to find fault or criticize; fastidious; captious; censorious; exacting.
- Pertaining to, or indicating, a crisis, turning point, or specially important juncture.
- Of the point (in temperature, reagent concentration etc.) where a nuclear or chemical reaction becomes self-sustaining.
- Extremely important
- It's critical that you deliver this on time.
- Relating to literary criticism and related kinds of
- The movie was a critical success, but bombed at the box-office.
- Likely to "runaway" if disturbed, that is, opposite of stable.
inclined to find fault
pertaining to or indicating a crisis
- Finnish: kriittinen
of the point where a reaction becomes self-sustaining
- Czech: kritický
- Finnish: kriittinen
- French: critique
- German: kritisch
relating to criticism
- Finnish: arvostelu-
- critical theory - concepts in social theory and in literary criticism
Psychology and education
Biology and medicine
care - intensive care medicine
- critical condition - grade of severity of a medical condition
- critical period - a time in the early stages of an organism's life during which it displays a heightened sensitivity to certain environmental stimuli, and develops in particular ways due to experiences at this time
- critical graph - graph with minimal chromatic number
- critical group - a group not in the variety generated by all its proper subquotients
- critical line - of zeros of the Riemann zeta function
- critical pair - concepts in mathematical logic, and in order theory
- critical point (mathematics) - point on a function where the derivative vanishes
- critical point (set theory) - of an elementary embedding of a transitive class into another transitive class: the smallest ordinal which is not mapped to itself
- critical angle - the angle of incidence above which total internal reflection occurs.
- critical distance - in audio physics, the distance at which the sound pressure level of the direct and the reverberant sound fields are equal when dealing with a directional source.
- critical mass - the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction.
critical point (thermodynamics) - conditions (temperature,
pressure) at which the liquid state of matter ceases to exist
- critical phenomena - associated with critical points
- critical speed - the theoretical angular velocity which excites the natural frequency of a screw or gear.
- Critical Control Point - a point, step or procedure at which controls can be applied and a food safety hazard can be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable (critical) levels
- critical hours - from sunrise to two hours after sunrise, and from two hours before sunset until sunset, local time
- critical path method - project management algorithm
- Critical Security Parameter - information that is either user or system defined and is used to operate a cryptography module in processing encryption functions
- Critical Success Factor - an element which is necessary for an organization or project to achieve its mission.
- critical angle of attack - such that the airflow has separated from a substantial portion of the upper surface of the airfoil
- critical area - designated area of an airport that all aircraft must remain clear of when another aircraft is inbound on an ILS approach
- critical engine - the one whose failure would result in the most adverse effects on the aircraft's handling and performance
- critical mach - the speed at which some of the airflow on a wing becomes supersonic.
- Critical (novel) - a medical thriller written by Dr. Robin Cook
- critical focus - the portion of a photograph that is optically in focus
- critical hit - in role-playing games, a successful attack that deals more damage than a normal hit
- critical load - of a pollutant, minimum exposure threshold for known harmful effects
- critical section - piece of code requiring single-thread to a shared device
- Critical Software - company specializing in mission and
business critical information systems.
- Critical Software Technologies, UK subsidiary
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