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

Some criteria include having an officer specifically tasked with OFAC regulations compliance and a line of direct reporting between the sanction compliance unit and executives or the board. Mengqi Sun, WSJ, "Treasury Sets Expectations for Sanctions Compliance Programs," 2 May 2019 Those usually have a very strict criteria for surrogacy eligibility and should be transparent about the history of their surrogacy candidates. Marisa Lascala, Good Housekeeping, "What Is Surrogacy? The Process, Types, and Costs, Explained by Experts," 1 May 2019 Until Thursday’s ruling, that physical presence was a key criterion for collecting a sales tax. David Pierson, latimes.com, "Bricks-and-mortar retailers get a boost from Supreme Court decision favoring online sales taxes," 21 June 2018 Human nature says the defensive line coach’s 1B grade will carry a slightly different criteria than, say, the linebacker coach’s 1B grade. Plus, with different positions, those grades don’t fully relate to one another. Andy Benoit, SI.com, "How an NFL Defense Is Built," 21 June 2018 But that was a dreadful criterion because crape myrtles come in all sizes. Neil Sperry, star-telegram, "The crape myrtle: Facts on the finest flowering shrub in the south," 21 June 2018 But big-city wedding planners and designers say a new criterion is coming into play: The food has to have a distinctive, if not downright startling, look. Karen Stabiner, New York Times, "For the State-of-the-Art Wedding Feast, ‘Look Is Everything’," 18 June 2018 Pepper's), the kids came up with a few criteria for what would make the ultimate TV show. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Watch Fake Paul McCartney Rap Battle an Alien in 'Late Show' Segment 'Kids Pitch A New TV Show'," 17 May 2018 Judged criteria includes creativity, technical brewing, appearance, aroma, flavor and overall impression. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "Platform Beer Co., Heinen's Bragging Rights homebrewing competition under way," 15 May 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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Learn More about criterion

Dictionary Entries near criterion

crit

critch

criteriology

criterion

criterium

crith

crithmene

Statistics for criterion

Last Updated

10 May 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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something valued as if it were money

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