Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “critical”

See all translations

critical

adjective uk   /ˈkrɪt.ɪ.kəl/ us    /ˈkrɪt̬-/

critical adjective (NOT PLEASED)

B2 saying that someone or something is bad or wrong: a critical report The report is highly critical of safety standards at the factory.
More examples

critical adjective (IMPORTANT)

B2 of the greatest importance to the way things might happen: The president's support is critical (to this project). a critical decision
More examples

critical adjective (GIVING OPINIONS)

C2 giving opinions or judgments on books, plays, films, etc.: She has written a major critical appraisal/study of Saul Bellow's novels. His last film won/received critical acclaim (= was praised by film critics).
More examples

critical adjective (SERIOUS)

B2 extremely serious or dangerous: Both drivers are critical/in a critical condition (= so badly hurt that they might die) after the 120 mph crash.
(Definition of critical from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of critical?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “critical” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

be as cold as ice

to be extremely cold

Word of the Day

Cleavage proves divisive in Cambridge’s words of 2014

by Alastair Horne,
December 19, 2014
​​​​ Other dictionaries may choose faddish novelties as their words of the year, but here at Cambridge, we like to do something different. We look for the words that have seen sudden surges in searches over the course of the year – words that have been baffling users of English and driven them

Read More 

cinderella surgery noun

December 15, 2014
cosmetic surgery to the feet We have all heard of people having nose jobs, boob jobs and liposuction – but now a new trend growing in popularity in America: Cinderella surgery.

Read More