criterion

noun
cri·​te·​ri·​on | \krī-ˈtir-ē-ən also krə- \
plural criteria\ krī-​ˈtir-​ē-​ə also  krə-​ \ also criterions

Definition of criterion 

(Entry 1 of 2)

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

Noun

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

Noun

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

Noun

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: Noun

The new pilot program was launched with different criteria for selecting cases. Corinne Ramey, WSJ, "New York to Litigants: Let’s Settle Those Lawsuits," 4 July 2018 Those are definitions that mirror the criteria for other substance use and gambling addiction disorders. Sy Mukherjee, Fortune, "Brainstorm Health: Gaming Disorder, Valeant Stock, Migrant Family Separation and Health," 18 June 2018 In fact, similar repositories do exist, but the NGC’s criteria for inclusion were set by the National Academy of Medicine, which established a high bar for rigor that other clearinghouses might lack. Ivan Oransky, STAT, "Trump administration is shutting down practice-guidelines clearinghouse for doctors," 13 June 2018 Like Pep, Klopp and Pochettino, top managers have a set criteria for players that fit into their squads. SI.com, "Substance Over Style: Why 'Pretty' Football Won't Fix Manchester United's Problems," 11 June 2018 Just as no two children are identical, no two families have the same criteria for the perfect school system. Melissa Rolland, courant.com, "Making A Summer Move?," 5 June 2018 The criteria for participation in the experiment has not yet been decided, Tubbs said. Jane Ross, The Christian Science Monitor, "California city mayor proposes to combat poverty with guaranteed income," 4 June 2018 The study proposes some solutions, including criteria for advancement and flexible schedules. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "The Fashion Industry Is Still Run by Men," 21 May 2018 This is part of an industry-wide move to train travelers to assess their flights on attributes beyond price, long the key criterion for consumers when deciding which airline to fly. Bloomberg.com, "+1 212 318 2000," 2 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

Noun

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for criterion

Noun

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

8 Nov 2018

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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