|1.||[ adjective ] marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws|
"a critical attitude"
|Related terms:||uncritical scathing caviling hypercritical deprecative censorious captious sarcastic unfavorable|
|2.||[ adjective ] characterized by careful evaluation and judgment|
"a critical reading" "a critical dissertation" "a critical analysis of Melville's writings
|Related terms:||uncritical appraising discriminative scholarly discerning|
|3.||[ adjective ] (chemistry and 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" "critical mass" "go critical"
|Related terms:||noncritical physics chemistry supercritical criticality|
|4.||[ adjective ] urgently needed; absolutely necessary|
"a critical element of the plan" "critical medical supplies" "vital for a healthy society" "of vital interest"
|5.||[ adjective ] forming or having the nature of a turning point or crisis|
"a critical point in the campaign" "the critical test"
|6.||[ adjective ] 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"
|Related terms:||noncritical dangerous dangerous acute desperate crucial crisis|
|7.||[ adjective ] of or involving or characteristic of critics or criticism|