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Adjective: critical  kri-ti-kul
  1. Marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws
    "a critical attitude"
  2. Urgently needed; absolutely necessary
    "a critical element of the plan"; "critical medical supplies";
    - vital
  3. Forming or having the nature of a turning point or crisis
    "a critical point in the campaign"; "the critical test";
    - decisive, climacteric
  4. Characterized by careful evaluation and judgment
    "a critical reading"; "a critical dissertation"; "a critical analysis of Melville's writings"
  5. 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"
  6. Of or involving or characteristic of critics or criticism
    "critical acclaim"
  7. (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"

See also: acute, appraising, captious, censorious, coruscating, crisis, criticality, crucial, dangerous, deprecative, desperate, dire, discerning, discriminative, evaluative, faultfinding, grave, grievous, hypercritical, important, indispensable, judicial, life-threatening, overcritical, sarcastic, sarky [Brit, informal], scathing, scholarly, searing, serious, severe, supercritical, unfavorable [US], unfavourable [Brit, Cdn], vituperative

Antonym: noncritical, uncritical

Encyclopedia: Critical