Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

Thesaurus

critical

adjective

Synonyms and Antonyms of critical

  1. 1 given to making or expressing unfavorable judgments about things <adults tend to be critical of teenagers' taste in music and movies> Synonyms captious, carping, caviling (or cavilling), faultfinding, hypercritical, judgmental, overcritical, rejective Related Words discerning, discriminating, judicious; demanding, exacting, fastidious, finical, finicky, fussy, nitpicky, particular, picky; pettifogging, quibbling; harsh, merciless, uncharitable, unforgiving Near Antonyms undiscriminating; undemanding, unfussy; charitable, forgiving Antonyms uncritical

  2. 2 needing immediate attention <this problem isn't critical, so we can go home now and tend to it in the morning> Synonyms burning, clamant, compelling, acute, crying, dire, emergent, exigent, imperative, imperious, importunate, instant, necessitous, pressing, urgentRelated Words demanding, extreme, immediate, insistent, intense, overriding; crucial, desperate, grave, life-and-death (also life-or-death), serious, severe, vital; dangerous, explosive, hazardous, perilous, precarious, unstableNear Antonyms incidental, low-pressure, minor, negligible, trivial, unimportant; nonthreatening, safe, stableAntonyms noncritical, nonurgent

  3. 3 of the greatest possible importance <this is the critical exam that will largely determine your college career> Synonyms crucial, key, pivotal, vitalRelated Words decisive, life-and-death (also life-or-death), weighty; basic, elementary, fundamental; essential, indispensable, necessary, requisite; pressing, urgentNear Antonyms inconsequential, insignificant, minor, trivial, unimportant

  4. 4 impossible to do without <critical information for an informed medical diagnosis> Synonyms all-important, essential, imperative, indispensable, integral, must-have, necessary, necessitous, needed, needful, required, requisite, vitalRelated Words prerequisite; compulsory, mandatory, nonelective, obligatory; consequential, crucial, important, major, material, meaningful, momentous, significant, substantial, weighty; basic, central, fundamental, key, organic; insistent, persistent, pressing, urgentNear Antonyms undesired, unwanted; inconsequential, insignificant, unimportant; excess, external, extra, extraneous, superfluous, surplusAntonyms dispensable, inessential, needless, nonessential, unessential, unnecessary, unneeded





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up critical? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 7, 2016

a slight offense

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift duvet pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ