criterion

noun
cri·​te·​ri·​on | \ krī-ˈtir-ē-ən also krə- How to pronounce criterion (audio) \
plural criteria\ krī-​ˈtir-​ē-​ə How to pronounce criteria (audio) also  krə-​ \ also criterions

Definition of criterion

1 : a standard on which a judgment or decision may be based the university's criteria for admission
2 : a characterizing mark or trait

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Choose the Right Synonym for criterion

standard, criterion, gauge, yardstick, touchstone mean a means of determining what a thing should be. standard applies to any definite rule, principle, or measure established by authority. standards of behavior criterion may apply to anything used as a test of quality whether formulated as a rule or principle or not. questioned the critic's criteria for excellence gauge applies to a means of testing a particular dimension (such as thickness, depth, diameter) or figuratively a particular quality or aspect. polls as a gauge of voter dissatisfaction yardstick is an informal substitute for criterion that suggests quantity more often than quality. housing construction as a yardstick of economic growth touchstone suggests a simple test of the authenticity or value of something intangible. fine service is one touchstone of a first-class restaurant

Is criteria singular or plural?: Usage Guide

The plural criteria has been used as a singular for over half a century. let me now return to the third criteria — R. M. Nixon that really is the criteria — Bert Lance Many of our examples, like the two foregoing, are taken from speech. But singular criteria is not uncommon in edited prose, and its use both in speech and writing seems to be increasing. Only time will tell whether it will reach the unquestioned acceptability of agenda.

Did You Know?

One person's principal criterion for a new car may be its gas mileage, while someone else's may be whether it has room for four children. When filling a job opening, employers usually look for several criteria (notice the plural form) in the applicants; and when college admissions officers are reading student applications, they likewise always keep a few basic criteria in mind. And when interviewing an applicant, one criterion for both the employer and the admissions officer might include the size of the applicant's vocabulary!

Examples of criterion in a Sentence

There is really only one criterion for a grab bag of culinary facts and anecdotes like this: It has to make you look up occasionally and remark, "Hey! I never knew that." — Laura Shapiro, New York Times Book Review, 25 Dec. 1994 … the induction committee waived its normal five-year retirement criteria for fear Kelley might never retire. — Todd Balf, Yankee, 4 Apr. 1992 Christo argues that art must be measured by its effect on the shape of a community. By this criterion Running Fence was enormously successful. — O. B. Hardison, Jr., Disappearing Through the Skylight, 1989 What were the criteria used to choose the winner? one criterion for grading these essays will be their conformity to the rules of traditional grammar
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Jayhawks have plenty of foes that fit the criteria. Jesse Newell, kansascity, "How KU basketball won the scheduling game ... again," 29 June 2018 In the case study previously described, Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s case fits the criteria for Medicaid’s spousal impoverishment rules. Wesley E. Wright, Houston Chronicle, "Elder Law: Do you have to ‘spend down’ for Medicaid requirements?," 15 June 2018 The state boards kept an eye out for cases that fit the criteria for exclusion from the federal system, then passed them along. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "More than 200 doctors stay on Medicare rolls despite disciplinary actions," 17 May 2018 For the Browns, McShay said running back Nick Chubb fit the criteria. Scott Patsko, cleveland.com, "Browns draft 2018: Grades and reaction from national media," 29 Apr. 2018 The hard part is that, while private clubs are legally able to reject applicants who don’t fit certain criteria, exclusion gets dicey when organizations appear public-facing. Katy Steinmetz, Time, "Women-Only Spaces Are Part of a Coworking Craze. Some Might Also Be Violating the Law," 20 Apr. 2018 Guice, considered by many evaluators to be the second-best running back in the draft behind Penn State’s Saquon Barkley, doesn’t necessarily fit that criteria with only 32 catches in three seasons at LSU. Jeff Zrebiec, baltimoresun.com, "Guice's predraft visit doesn't mean Ravens consider RB a top need, but it doesn't hurt to look," 30 Mar. 2018 One of the guidance counselors told the Henderson clinic that the deputy had decided Cruz did not fit the criteria for involuntary commitment. Author: Patricia Mazzei, Anchorage Daily News, "School officials wanted Florida gunman committed long before massacre," 18 Mar. 2018 Rand says that big SFR companies tap into his platform’s API to monitor the available inventory and make offers on homes that match their buying criteria. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "The single-family rental industry is starting to consolidate," 11 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'criterion.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of criterion

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for criterion

borrowed from Greek kritḗrion, from kri-, variant stem of krī́nein "to separate, choose, decide, judge" + -tērion, suffix of instruments — more at certain entry 1

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Dictionary Entries near criterion

crit

critch

criteriology

criterion

criterium

crith

crithmene

Statistics for criterion

Last Updated

15 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for criterion

The first known use of criterion was in 1622

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More Definitions for criterion

criterion

noun

English Language Learners Definition of criterion

: something that is used as a reason for making a judgment or decision

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Comments on criterion

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the range of authority or knowledge

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