from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- adj. Inclined to judge severely and find fault.
- adj. Characterized by careful, exact evaluation and judgment: a critical reading.
- adj. Of, relating to, or characteristic of critics or criticism: critical acclaim; a critical analysis of Melville's writings.
- adj. Forming or having the nature of a turning point; crucial or decisive: a critical point in the campaign.
- adj. Of or relating to a medical crisis: an illness at the critical stage.
- adj. Being or relating to a grave physical condition especially of a patient.
- adj. Indispensable; essential: a critical element of the plan; a second income that is critical to the family's well-being.
- adj. Being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency: a critical shortage of food.
- adj. Fraught with danger or risk; perilous.
- adj. Mathematics Of or relating to a point at which a curve has a horizontal tangent line, as at a maximum or minimum.
- adj. Chemistry & Physics Of or relating to the value of a measurement, such as temperature, at which an abrupt change in a quality, property, or state occurs: A critical temperature of water is 100°C, its boiling point at standard atmospheric pressure.
- adj. Physics Capable of sustaining a nuclear chain reaction.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Inclined to find fault or criticize; fastidious; captious; censorious; exacting.
- adj. Pertaining to, or indicating, a crisis or turning point.
- adj. Extremely important.
- adj. Relating to criticism or careful analysis, such as literary or film criticism.
- adj. Of a patient condition involving unstable vital signs and a prognosis that predicts the condition could worsen; or, a patient condition that requires urgent treatment in an intensive care or critical care medical facility.
- adj. Likely to go out of control if disturbed, that is, opposite of stable.
- adj. Of the point (in temperature, reagent concentration etc.) where a nuclear or chemical reaction becomes self-sustaining.
- n. A critical value, factor, etc.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. Qualified to criticise, or pass judgment upon, literary or artistic productions.
- adj. Pertaining to criticism or the critic's art; of the nature of a criticism; accurate.
- adj. Inclined to make nice distinctions, or to exercise careful judgment and selection; exact; nicely judicious.
- adj. Inclined to criticise or find fault; fastidious; captious; censorious; exacting.
- adj. Characterized by thoroughness and a reference to principles, as becomes a critic.
- adj. Pertaining to, or indicating, a crisis, turning point, or specially important juncture; important as regards consequences; hence, of doubtful issue; attended with risk; dangerous.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Involving judgment as to the truth or merit of something; judicial, especially in respect to literary or artistic works; belonging to the art of a critic; relating to criticism; exercised in criticism.
- Having the knowledge, ability, or discernment to pass accurate judgment, especially upon literary and artistic matters.
- Inclined to make nice distinctions; careful in selection; nicely judicious; exact; fastidious; precise.
- Inclined to find fault or to judge with severity; given to censuring.
- Of the nature of a crisis in affairs; decisive; important as regards consequences: as, a critical juncture.
- In medicine, pertaining to the crisis or turning-point of a disease.
- Formed, situated, or tending to determine or decide; important or essential for determining: as, critical evidence; a critical post.
- Being in a condition of extreme doubt or danger; attended with peril or risk; dangerous; hazardous: as, a critical undertaking.
- In mathematics, relating to the coalescence of different values.
- Distinguished by minute or obscure differences: as, critical species in botany.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- adj. forming or having the nature of a turning point or crisis
- adj. of or involving or characteristic of critics or criticism
- adj. urgently needed; absolutely necessary
- adj. at or of a point at which a property or phenomenon suffers an abrupt change especially having enough mass to sustain a chain reaction
- adj. being in or verging on a state of crisis or emergency
- adj. marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws
- adj. characterized by careful evaluation and judgment
From the suffix -al and Latin criticus, from Ancient Greek κριτικός (kritikos, "of or for judging, able to discern") < κρίνω (krinō, "I separate, judge"), also the root of crisis). (Wiktionary)