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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
  • ...and they wanted to protect us at this critical stage in my recovery.
    Malala Yousafzai  --  I Am Malala
  • critical = important
  • Having left USC a few credits short, he had no college degree, a critical asset in a job market glutted with veterans and former war production workers.
    Laura Hillenbrand  --  Unbroken
  • critical = important
  • He was in critical condition.
    S.E. Hinton  --  The Outsiders
  • critical = serious or dangerous
  • 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
  • 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
    (editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word to a verb. This is the same pattern you see in words like apologize, theorize, and dramatize.)
  • For the act of criticizing heightened his sense of importance, made him feel larger.
    Aldous Huxley  --  Brave New World
  • criticizing = finding fault and telling others
    (editor's note:  The suffix "-ive" converts a word to a verb. This is the same pattern you see in words like apologize, theorize, and dramatize.)
  • People like Mr. Heck Tate did not trap you with innocent questions to make fun of you; even Jem was not highly critical unless you said something stupid.
    Harper Lee  --  To Kill a Mockingbird
  • critical = expressing unfavorable opinions
  • Mom said that anyone critical of her driving could help with the task.
    Jeannette Walls  --  The Glass Castle
  • critical = expressing unfavorable opinions
  • Is there something you want, or are you just an art critic today?
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind
  • critic = someone who finds fault and tells others
  • His coming, however, had been a certain comfort to us, since it assured us that we should not have to dread hostile criticism as to any of our acts.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
criticism = sharing of unfavorable opinions

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
  • She holds up her drawing, eyeing it critically.
    Katherine Applegate  --  The One and Only Ivan
  • critically = in a manner that thoughtfully judges what is good and bad about something
  • The teachers were amused and entertained by my clever answers, my witty remarks, my charming face and my critical mind.
    Anne Frank  --  The Diary of a Young Girl
  • critical = demonstrating thoughtful judgement
  • No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said.
    Ray Bradbury  --  Fahrenheit 451
  • critics = people whose job is to share 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
  • My ears to an orchestra conductor. My stomach to a food critic.
    Neal Shusterman  --  Unwind
  • critic = someone whose job is to share expert judgement
  • The Professor watched me critically.
    Bram Stoker  --  Dracula
  • critically = in a manner that thoughtfully judges what is good and bad about something
  • I did not, like him, attempt a critical knowledge of their dialects, for I did not contemplate making any other use of them than temporary amusement.
    Mary Shelley  --  Frankenstein
critical = using careful analysis

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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