Meaning of CRITICAL in English


adj.1 a making or involving adverse or censorious comments or judgements. b expressing or involving criticism.

2 skilful at or engaged in criticism.

3 providing textual criticism (a critical edition of Milton).

4 a of or at a crisis; involving risk or suspense (in a critical condition; a critical operation). b decisive, crucial (of critical importance; at the critical moment).

5 a Math. & Physics marking transition from one state etc. to another (critical angle). b Physics (of a nuclear reactor) maintaining a self-sustaining chain reaction.

Phrases and idioms:

critical apparatus APPARATUS 4. critical mass Physics the amount of fissile material needed to maintain a nuclear chain reaction. critical path the sequence of stages determining the minimum time needed for an operation. critical temperature Chem. the temperature above which a gas cannot be liquefied.


criticality n. (in sense 5). critically adv. criticalness n.

Etymology: L criticus: see CRITIC

Oxford English vocab.      Оксфордский английский словарь.