WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2017
crit•i•cal /ˈkrɪtɪkəl/USA pronunciation   adj. 
  1. inclined to find fault or to judge severely:remarks far too critical of the queen.
  2. of or relating to critics or criticism:[before a noun]a critical edition of Chaucer.
  3. very careful;
    involving or requiring skillful judgment as to truth, merit, etc.:[before a noun]Critical readers will find much of interest.
  4. of decisive importance;
    crucial:a critical moment in American politics.
  5. of great or necessary importance;
    essential;
    indispensable: A critical ingredient in the bomb is the primer that sets off the larger explosive.
  6. caused by or constituting a crisis: a critical shortage of food.
  7. Medicine(of a patient's condition) having unstable and abnormal heartbeat, blood pressure, etc.:The gunshot victim is listed in critical condition.
crit•i•cal•ly, adv.: The book was critically acclaimed.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
crit•i•cal  (kriti kəl),USA pronunciation 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. Medicine(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
    • pertaining to a state, value, or quantity at which one or more properties of a substance or system undergo a change.
    • (of fissionable material) having enough mass to sustain a chain reaction.
criti•cal•ly, adv. 
crit′i•cali•ty, criti•cal•ness, n. 
  • critic + -al1 1580–90
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged captious, censorious, carping, faultfinding, caviling.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged discriminating, exact, precise.


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

criticality /ˌkrɪtɪˈkælɪtɪ/ n
  1. the state of being critical
  2. the condition in a nuclear reactor when the fissionable material can sustain a chain reaction by itself



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