Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point.
  • n. An unstable condition, as in political, social, or economic affairs, involving an impending abrupt or decisive change.
  • n. A sudden change in the course of a disease or fever, toward either improvement or deterioration.
  • n. An emotionally stressful event or traumatic change in a person's life.
  • n. A point in a story or drama when a conflict reaches its highest tension and must be resolved.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point.
  • n. An unstable situation, in political, social, economic or military affairs, especially one involving an impending abrupt change.
  • n. A sudden change in the course of a disease, usually at which the patient is expected to recover or die.
  • n. A traumatic or stressful change in a person's life.
  • n. A point in a drama at which a conflict reaches a peak before being resolved.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The point of time when it is to be decided whether any affair or course of action must go on, or be modified or terminate; the decisive moment; the turning point.
  • n. That change in a disease which indicates whether the result is to be recovery or death; sometimes, also, a striking change of symptoms attended by an outward manifestation, as by an eruption or sweat.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A vitally important or decisive state of things; the point of culmination; a turning-point; the point at which a change must come, either for the better or the worse, or from one state of things to another: as, a ministerial crisis; a financial crisis; a crisis in a person's mental condition.
  • n. In medicine, the change of a disease which indicates the nature of its termination; that change which prognosticates recovery or death. The term is sometimes also used to denote the symptoms accompanying the condition.
  • n. A paroxysm of acute localized pain or of functional disturbance of some organ accompanying tabes dorsalis or other degenerative affection of the spinal cord.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an unstable situation of extreme danger or difficulty
  • n. a crucial stage or turning point in the course of something

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin, judgment, from Greek krisis, from krīnein, to separate, judge; see krei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek κρίσις (krisis, "a separating, power of distinguishing, decision, choice, election, judgment, dispute"), from κρίνω (krinō, "pick out, choose, decide, judge") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Promoted to Headline (H3) on 10/25/08: The Crash: The Plot Thickens yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'The Crash: The Plot Thickens'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: In recent days, a possible motive for the current financial crisis has been suggested by the crisis\' own architects themselves. '

    The Crash: The Plot Thickens

  • Trust yahooBuzzArticleHeadline = 'Trust'; yahooBuzzArticleSummary = 'Article: At the bottom of the \'financial crisis\' is a crisis of trust.

    Trust

  • "The mood is that the economic crisis in UK is better than the ­crisis in Poland."

    Daily Express News Feeds

  • "The system is working" to manage what Alan Greenspan is calling a once in a century event. and the rest of this week's meltdown (from oldest to newest) ... video: wamu looking for buyer* obama: help for US finance crisis needed from abroad* wall st journal: one week later, a new world order* industrials: biggest 2 day rally since 1929* china blames wall st meltdown on fed overissuance of currency* dodd: the US may be 'days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system'* failed bank list* we have only days to stop the $700b stick-up (& fascist powergrab) * regulators shut down ameribank in west virginia* in hard times, tent cities rise across the country* growing' tent cities 'blamed on foreclosure crisis*

    media monarchy

  • I think where they lost, if anywhere, was when Brenda Ekwurzel of Union of Concerned Scientists was responding to the question, “…if this is a crisis, what kind of lifestyle change, what kind of economic pain, and how quickly are you proposing…to hedge our bets?” with “ASAP … As soon as possible because’€” … Everything, everything that we can throw at solving this climate crisis’€”well, this climate problem, is important…”

    The East Side Debate « Climate Audit

  • The term crisis comes from the Greek origin, meaning circle ( "kreis" in German).

    Original Signal - Transmitting Buzz

  • "The single most important line of defense for young people in crisis is a network of visibly supportive adults, in their own community, in school, at home," Byard said.

    Support, Counseling, Education For Gay Youth Just A Click Away

  • Just as the phrase "crisis of confidence" characterized the U.S. credit freeze after Lehman Brothers went bankrupt in 2008, it has become shorthand for in the debt crisis of Europe, too.

    Jeff Reeves: The Only Thing That Will Save the Economy in 2012

  • The symbol for the word crisis in Chinese is made up of two words: danger and opportunity.

    It’s Your Time

  • When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tough Times, Tough People

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Comments

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  • How sad.

    December 11, 2007

  • Something like this.

    December 11, 2007

  • Oh, I suspect more people than not have had similar experiences.... :-)

    September 22, 2007

  • That's comforting. Thanks. :-)

    September 22, 2007

  • You're not alone, npydyuan! ;-)

    September 22, 2007

  • Is there a good word for the sociocognitive dissonance that occurs when you suddenly realize that, despite having several identifiable traits in common with someone else, your assumptions about further commonality or compatibility with them are false?

    Just asking, 'cuz that's happened to me a few times.

    September 22, 2007