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

After nearly 50 years of recognizing a resident, no one received the 2019 Citizen of the Year honor because no one nominated met the search committee’s criteria. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Community gardener Cynthia McGann receives first Heart of Darien award," 4 June 2019 Prosecutors had argued that the email tracking was not an invasive tool and so did not meet the legal criteria of a search or a wiretap and did not require a search warrant. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Navy judge removes lead prosecutor from Navy SEAL criminal case," 3 June 2019 Then, donors will have to meet both criteria — donations from at least 130,000 individual donors (including 400 in 20 states) and hit 2 percent in four qualifying polls. Ben Kamisar, NBC News, "Delaney: 'I don't think we should have a donor standard' for presidential debates," 3 June 2019 According to the 2018 Museum Index, these are the museums that meet that criteria. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "These Are the Most Visited Museums in the World," 30 May 2019 Unlike many of his architectural peers, Venturi delivered a design that actually met those criteria. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Masterpieces of Robert Venturi, a postmodern architecture icon," 20 Sep. 2018 In order to meet FFP criteria, Milan will need to sell a number of key players, and the Sun have reported that the Rossoneri could have to sell Bonucci to the Red Devils - who have previously shown interest in the former Juventus centre-back. SI.com, "AC Milan Could Be Forced to Sell Manchester United Target After UEFA Make FFP Decision," 1 July 2018 Lawful permanent residents must meet specific criteria to be subject to removal proceedings under the Immigration and Nationality Act, according to ICE. Brittny Mejia, latimes.com, "It's not just criminals — ICE is nabbing lawful permanent residents too," 28 June 2018 Lawful permanent residents must meet specific criteria to be subject to removal proceedings under the Immigration and Nationality Act, according to ICE. Brittny Mejia, Hoy, "No sólo delincuentes: ICE también arresta a residentes permanentes legales," 28 June 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

7 Jun 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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