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

Only half of the 14 schools with students in grades 6-8 met that criteria in 2017-18, and American Indian Magnet had just one such class. Josh Verges, Twin Cities, "St. Paul looks to add music and arts classes after many schools fall short," 10 Sep. 2019 More information on eligibility criteria and rules can be read on the official blog post and related pages. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Reddit launches five-day live-streaming test," 19 Aug. 2019 Officials announced the exciting news on Thursday, releasing the criteria and details with a press release. Fox News, "Disney lovers called to apply for 2020 'Moms Panel' - dads, grandparents, 'childless millennials' also welcome," 16 Aug. 2019 California law prohibits the sale of assault weapons that meet certain criteria and the sale of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Evan Sernoffsky,, "Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting: Killer had more guns, survival gear and a clown mask," 8 Aug. 2019 Kid Cudi Nostalgia isn’t a good criterion for music criticism, and wearing CUDI SAVED MY LIFE t-shirts is kind of cheesy, but Kid Cudi’s music still plucks a heartstring for many 18-25 year olds. Miguel Garcia Jr., Billboard, "The 10 Best Musical Moments of Hard Summer 2019 With Shoreline Mafia, Lauren Lane, Kid Cudi & More," 6 Aug. 2019 Albanese said Axon’s products and services met and exceeded the city’s criteria and were recommended by 23 officers within the department. Anthony Clark Carpio, Burbank Leader, "After a successful trial, Burbank officials OK body-worn cameras for police," 3 Aug. 2019 In addition to this criteria and alumni giving, U.S. News also considers social mobility, undergraduate academic reputation, graduation and retention rates, faculty resources, student selectivity and graduation rate performance. Caitlin O'kane, CBS News, "UC Berkeley and four other schools removed from Best Colleges list for misreporting statistics," 29 July 2019 Everybody wants a quick answer, but this is going to take five to 10 years to get the metrics right, to engineer the eligibility criteria and . . . Washington Post, "It seems like a no-lose idea: free college. But nobody can agree on the details.," 28 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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Statistics for criterion

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

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Time Traveler for criterion

The first known use of criterion was in 1622

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English Language Learners Definition of criterion

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

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