critical definition, meaning - what is critical in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online

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

decider

a final game or competition that allows one person or team to win, or the winning point scored

Word of the Day

What’s All The Commotion About? (Words to describe sounds)

by Kate Woodford,
May 20, 2015
​​​ In this post we look at a range of words and phrases that we use to describe noise and the absence of noise. Starting with complete quiet, we sometimes use the noun hush to describe silence: A hush fell over the room as the bride walked in./There was a deathly hush (=complete

Read More 

ancestral health noun

May 25, 2015
diet based on the presumed diet of our Palaeolithic ancestors ‘Ancestral health,’ to use a term popular among Paleo followers, has gone mass.

Read More