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

In return, applicants must meet criteria including either renting or buying a property. Ruth Bloomfield, WSJ, "For Sale in Malta: A Path to EU Citizenship," 11 July 2019 The site near Kiryat Gat, however, meets both criteria. Fox News, "Biblical city with links to King David discovered in southern Israel," 10 July 2019 In 1981, Lisbon, frustrated by the loss of more than 150 acres in an annexation, sought to incorporate as a fourth-class city, but failed to meet all the criteria. Cathy Kozlowicz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lisbon officials want to incorporate the town as a village, but agree to discuss a cooperative plan with Sussex," 10 July 2019 An interactive guide If the four candidates who didn't make the cut for the debate in Miami manage to meet those criteria in time for the CNN debate in Detroit, the participants will be determined by polling average. William Cummings, USA TODAY, "When is the next Democratic primary debate?: July 30 and 31 in Detroit," 28 June 2019 There are many different curves that meet these criteria. Quanta Magazine, "Usain Bolt’s Split Times and the Power of Calculus," 3 Apr. 2019 Brostoff’s bill sets up more tiers in the licensing process and tweaks the criteria for each level — so advanced interpreters are the only ones who can work high-risk, legal or medical settings, and entry-level licenses can be renewed indefinitely. Sophie Carson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Lawmaker who vowed no haircuts until sign language interpreter bill passed finally gets buzz cut as deaf community cheers," 2 July 2019 Though Saint expressed more interest in building a brand, he’s given up on parsing the inscrutable criteria of the algorithm. Shaan Amin, The New Republic, "Can the Left Win YouTube?," 2 July 2019 At the University of Central Florida’s fall 2018 class, 77 students, about 2 percent of the fall class, were admitted without meeting the state’s criteria. Annie Martin, orlandosentinel.com, "Admissions to Florida’s public universities are getting more competitive. But schools still admit students lacking basic qualifications.," 2 July 2019

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

19 Jul 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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