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critical

used in a sentence
3 meanings
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1  —as in:
a critical problem
Definition important, serious, or dangerous
  • It is of critical importance.
critical = highly important
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • The doctor said her condition is critical.
  • critical = serious or dangerous
  • Ants play a critical role in the ecosystem.
  • critical = very important
  • She plays a critical role in the administration.
  • critical = important
  • It was a critical factor in my decision.
  • critical = important
  • The legislation funds critical infrastructure.
  • critical = important
  • He was in critical condition.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • critical = serious or dangerous
  • At any rate, they remembered that at the critical moment of the battle Snowball had turned to flee.
    George Orwell  --  Animal Farm
  • critical = important
  • PROCTOR—he knows this is critical, and is striving against his disgust with Hale and with himself for even answering:
    Arthur Miller  --  The Crucible
  • critical = important
  • Later the doctors would speculate that when Dad, Luke and Benjamin had wrestled Shawn to the ground—and he'd sustained a concussion—he was already in critical condition.
    Tara Westover  --  Educated
critical = serious or dangerous

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
2  —as in:
don't be so critical
Definition finding fault and telling others; or tending to have unfavorable opinions
  • She is critical of everything he does.
critical = tends to find fault
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • She was imprisoned after writing an article that was critical of the dictator.
  • critical = expressed unfavorable opinion
  • She is very critical of the administration.
  • critical = tends to find fault
  • The comment prompted a twiterstorm of criticism.
  • criticism = description of faults
  • ...even Jem was not highly critical unless you said something stupid.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • critical = expressing unfavorable opinions
  • Montag, old men who stay at home, afraid, tending their peanut-brittle bones, have no right to criticize.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Fahrenheit 451
  • criticize = give opinions of what is wrong with something
  • Mom said that anyone critical of her driving could help with the task.
    Jeannette Walls  --  The Glass Castle
  • critical = expressing unfavorable opinions
  • "It's easy to criticize," I says, "but you ain't got the same problems as what I got."
    George Orwell  --  1984
  • criticize = give opinions of what is wrong with something
  • "Whenever you feel like criticizing any one," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."
    F. Scott Fitzgerald  --  The Great Gatsby
  • criticizing = giving an opinion of what is wrong with something
  • The most strident criticism came in the form of a dense, multipage epistle from Ambler, a tiny Inupiat village on the Kobuk River north of the Arctic Circle.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
criticism = act of finding fault and telling others

3  —as in:
critical acclaim
Definition relating to thoughtful judgement of what is good and bad about something — possibly from people whose job is to share their expert opinions in a given industry
  • The film is receiving critical acclaim.
critical = "Critical acclaim" is a common expression meaning praise from people whose job is to share expert judgement.
Other Uses (with this meaning)
  • She is a restaurant critic who appears regularly on television.
  • critic = someone whose job is to share expert opinion of things in given industry
  • The film received critical and commercial success.
  • critical = relating to expert judgement
  • Attentive critics of courthouse business, Atticus said they knew as much law as the Chief Justice, from long years of observation.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • critics = people who share expert judgement
  • No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Fahrenheit 451
  • critics = people whose job is to share expert judgement
  • He looked critically at Ralph's golden body and then down at his own clothes.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • critically = in a manner that thoughtfully judges what is good and bad about something
  • Some critics have even drawn parallels between McCandless and the Arctic's most infamous tragic figure, Sir John Franklin, a nineteenth-century British naval officer whose smugness and hauteur contributed to some 140 deaths, including his own.
    Jon Krakauer  --  Into the Wild
  • critics = people who share expert judgement
  • Ralph looked at the sun critically.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • critically = in a manner that thoughtfully judges what is good and bad about something
  • Holding his breath he cocked a critical ear at the sounds of the island.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
  • critical = relating to judgement of what is important
  • Ralph looked at him critically through his tangle of fair hair.
    William Golding  --  Lord of the Flies
critically = in a manner that thoughtfully judges what is good and bad about something

Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary / more samples — Oxford® USDictionary list — Onelook.com®
Less commonly:
See a comprehensive dictionary for more specialized senses of critical including those in mathematics and nuclear energy.
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