critical Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “critical” in the English Dictionary

"critical" in British English

See all translations

criticaladjective

uk   /ˈkrɪt.ɪ.kəl/  us   /ˈkrɪt̬.ɪ.kəl/
  • 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.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

(Definition of critical from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"critical" in American English

See all translations

criticaladjective

 us   /ˈkrɪt̬·ɪ·kəl/
  • critical adjective (IMPORTANT)

of the greatest importance: critical industries What happens in the next 48 hours is critical.
  • critical adjective (VERY BAD)

very bad or dangerous: He was admitted to Metropolitan Hospital in critical condition.
  • critical adjective (JUDGING ENTERTAINMENT)

showing approval by those whose job is to judge entertainment: The movie was a financial and critical success.
  • critical adjective (DISAPPROVING PERSON)

expressing an opinion about something or someone, esp. a negative opinion: My mother is always so critical of the way I dress!
(Definition of critical from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"critical" in Business English

See all translations

criticaladjective

uk   us   /ˈkrɪtɪkəl/
extremely important to the progress or success of something: critical to/for sth Logistics and distribution are critical to an e-commerce venture's success. Critical decisions need to be taken. We see this as a critical time and potentially a turning point in the crisis.
extremely serious or dangerous: be in critical condition As a result of unchecked pollution, the Chesapeake Bay is in critical condition. The company had a loss of $511,000 and a critical shortage of cash.
saying that someone or something is bad or wrong: A highly critical report was released Tuesday on BP's five U.S. refineries.critical of sb/sth He is very critical of his manager.
using careful judgment: We need to do some critical thinking to solve this problem.
critically
adverb
The small business market as a whole is critically important. Regional or bilateral trade deals need to be looked at more critically.
(Definition of critical from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of critical?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“critical” in Business English

A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
A blazing row: words and phrases for arguing and arguments
by ,
May 04, 2016
by Kate Woodford We can’t always focus on the positive! This week, we’re looking at the language that is used to refer to arguing and arguments, and the differences in meaning between the various words and phrases. There are several words that suggest that people are arguing about something that is not important. (As you might

Read More 

Word of the Day

spaceship

(especially in stories) a vehicle used for travel in space

Word of the Day

trigger warning noun
trigger warning noun
May 02, 2016
a warning that a subject may trigger unpleasant emotions or memories This is not, I should stress, an argument that trigger warnings should become commonplace on campus.

Read More