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Meaning of CRITICAL

Pronunciation:  'kritikul

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [adj]  marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws; "a critical attitude"
  2. [adj]  characterized by careful evaluation and judgment; "a critical reading"; "a critical dissertation"; "a critical analysis of Melville's writings"
  3. [adj]  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"
  4. [adj]  (chemistry and physics) 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"
  5. [adj]  forming or having the nature of a turning point or crisis; "a critical point in the campaign"; "the critical test"
  6. [adj]  urgently needed; absolutely necessary; "a critical element of the plan"; "critical medical supplies"; "vital for a healthy society"; "of vital interest"
  7. [adj]  of or involving or characteristic of critics or criticism; "critical acclaim"
 Synonyms: acute, appraising(a), captious, carping, caviling, censorious, dangerous, decisive, deprecative, desperate, dire, discriminative, evaluative, faultfinding, grave, grievous, hypercritical, indispensable, judicial, nitpicking, overcritical, pettifogging, quibbling, scathing, serious, severe, supercritical, vital, vituperative
 Antonyms: noncritical, noncrucial, uncritical
 See Also: crucial, discerning, important, sarcastic, scholarly, unfavorable, unfavourable



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
\Crit"ic*al\ (kr?t"?-kal), a. [See {Critic}, n.,
1. Qualified to criticise, or pass judgment upon, literary or
   artistic productions.

         It is submitted to the judgment of more critical
         ears to direct and determine what is graceful and
         what is not.                          --Holder.

2. Pertaining to criticism or the critic's art; of the nature
   of a criticism; accurate; as, critical knowledge; a
   critical dissertation.

3. Inclined to make nice distinctions, or to exercise careful
   judgment and selection; exact; nicely judicious.

         Virgil was so critical in the rites of religion.
         that he would never have brought in such prayers as
         these, if they had not been agreeable to the Roman
         customs.                              --Bp.

4. Inclined to criticise or find fault; fastidious; captious;
   censorious; exacting.

         O gentle lady, do not put me to 't, For I am
         nothing, if not critical.             --Shak.

5. Characterized by thoroughness and a reference to
   principles, as becomes a critic; as, a critical analysis
   of a subject.

6. [See {Crisis}.] Pertaining to, or indicating, a crisis,
   turning point, or specially important juncture; important
   as regards consequences; hence, of doubtful issue;
   attended with risk; dangerous; as, the critical stage of a
   fever; a critical situation.

         Our circumstances are indeed critical. --Burke.

         The small moment, the exact point, the critical
         minute, on which every good work so much depends.

{Critical angle} (Optics), that angle of incidence of a
   luminous ray at which it is wholly reflected, and no
   portion of it transmitted. The sine of this angle is the
   reciprocal of the refractive index of the medium.

{Critical philosophy}, the metaphysical system of Kant; -- so
   called from his most important work, the ``Critique of
   Pure Reason.''

{Critical point} (Physics), a certain temperature, different
   for different gases, but always the same for each gas,
   regarded as the limit above which no amount of pressure
   can produce condensation to a liquid.

Thesaurus Terms
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