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

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

Poland's law on the retirement of judges at the Supreme Court put 27 of 72 judges at risk of being forced to retire, the Commission said, with no clear criteria on who can stay. Fox News, "EU takes Poland to its top court over judicial reform," 24 Sep. 2018 Congressional aides estimate that eight to 10 of the 29 commuter railroads covered by the law are at risk of failing to meet the criteria necessary to avoid sanctions in 2019. Jason Laughlin, Philly.com, "After Philly crash, railroads got more time to install a key safety system. Three years later, some still lag behind," 3 July 2018 After processing is complete, an interview will be scheduled that will determine whether the application is granted, continued, or denied based on specific criteria, including exams in English and civics. Erin Coulehan, Teen Vogue, "What Asylum Means, and Why People Seek It," 13 Nov. 2018 Based on those criteria, Gobankingrates.com identified the 15 worst and best vacation spots for your wallet in America. Gabrielle Olya, USA TODAY, "Best and worst US vacation cities for your wallet," 12 July 2018 The remaining dispute centers on the criteria used to determine pretrial release for people arrested on minor offenses, and concerns by elected county officials over public safety posed by hasty releases. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Harris County bail lawsuit in trial court for final revisions," 14 June 2018 Each team won nine sets, and Ramona received the match victory on the criteria of games won. Joe Naiman, Ramona Sentinel, "Team clinches home win," 26 Apr. 2018 One example, according to Colder Carras: A lot of the evidence uses criteria typical for drug and gambling addiction to measure the prevalence and harms of gaming addiction. German Lopez, Vox, "Video game addiction is real, rare, and poorly understood," 6 Dec. 2018 The criterion to be a Victoria’s Secret model is simple: tall, thin, cisgender, and overwhelmingly white. Plus or trans women need not apply. Shammara Lawrence, Teen Vogue, "9 Size-Inclusive Lingerie Brands to Support Instead of Victoria's Secret," 14 Nov. 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

18 Jan 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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WORD OF THE DAY

to settle judicially or to act as judge

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