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Dictionary definition for: Critical

1. (a) marked by a tendency to find and call attention to errors and flaws; "a critical attitude"

2. (a) 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 of water is 100 degrees C--its boiling point at standard atmospheric pressure" "critical mass"

3. (a) characterized by careful evaluation and judgment; "a critical reading" "a critical dissertation" "a critical analysis of Melville''s writings"

4. (s) urgently needed; absolutely necessary; "a critical element of the plan" "critical medical supplies" "vital for a healthy society" "of vital interest"

5. (s) forming or having the nature of a turning point or crisis; "a critical point in the campaign" "the critical test"

6. (a) 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"

7. (a) of or involving or characteristic of critics or criticism; "critical acclaim"

WordNet 2.1 Copyright Princeton University. All rights reserved.