[krit-i-kuh l] /ˈkrɪt ɪ kəl/
inclined to find fault or to judge with severity, often too readily.
occupied with or skilled in criticism.
involving skillful judgment as to truth, merit, etc.; judicial:
a critical analysis.
of or relating to critics or criticism:
providing textual variants, proposed emendations, etc.:
a critical edition of Chaucer.
pertaining to or of the nature of a crisis:
a critical shortage of food.
of decisive importance with respect to the outcome; crucial:
a critical moment.
of essential importance; indispensable:
a critical ingredient.
Medicine/Medical. (of a patient’s condition) having unstable and abnormal vital signs and other unfavorable indicators, as loss of appetite, poor mobility, or unconsciousness.
containing or making severe or negative judgments
containing careful or analytical evaluations: a critical dissertation
of or involving a critic or criticism
of or forming a crisis; crucial; decisive: a critical operation
urgently needed: critical medical supplies
(informal) so seriously injured or ill as to be in danger of dying
(physics) of, denoting, or concerned with a state in which the properties of a system undergo an abrupt change: a critical temperature
go critical, (of a nuclear power station or reactor) to reach a state in which a nuclear-fission chain reaction becomes self-sustaining
1580s, “censorious,” from critic + -al (1). Meaning “pertaining to criticism” is from 1741; medical sense is from c.1600; meaning “of the nature of a crisis” is from 1640s; that of “crucial” is from 1841, from the “decisive” sense in Latin criticus. Related: Criticality (1756; in the nuclear sense, 1950); critically (1650s, “accurately;” 1815, “in a critical situation”). In nuclear science, critical mass is attested from 1940.
critical crit·i·cal (krĭt’ĭ-kəl)
- Critical organ
critical organ n. The organ or physiological system that would first be subjected to radiation in excess of the maximum permissible amount as the dose of a radioactive material is increased.
- Critical path
noun the necessary path or sequence from start to finish, determining the time needed for completion; the longest most time-consuming path in a network
- Critical period
noun 1. (psychol) a period in a lifetime during which a specific stage of development usually occurs. If it fails to do so, it cannot readily occur afterwards noun a time in a person’s development in which a certain skill or characterized would be most readily acquired Usage Note psychology
- Critical path analysis
noun 1. a technique for planning complex projects by analysing alternative systems with reference to the critical path, which is the sequence of stages requiring the longest time Compare programme evaluation and review technique