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

The signs need to be extraordinary and persistent in order to meet the criteria for this condition. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "13 Facts Everyone Should Know About Borderline Personality Disorder," 5 Dec. 2018 One review of decades of studies by VA researchers shows that while the therapies reduce PTSD symptoms, more than 70 percent of patients still meet the criteria for PTSD when the therapy ends. Jim Rendon, Marie Claire, "When Female Veterans Return Home," 29 Oct. 2018 In Florida, at least 181 inmates who met the criteria for treatment did not get the cure, according to records kept by the Florida Department of Corrections. Washington Post, "State Prisons Fail To Offer Cure To 144,000 Inmates With Deadly Hepatitis C," 9 July 2018 The intersection does not meet the criteria for having a traffic control measure, according to the manual on traffic control devices, Lillie said. Kimberly Fornek, chicagotribune.com, "Brookfield driver cited for failure to yield in crash at Phillippa and Ravine in Hinsdale," 3 July 2018 These days, too many publicists and executives are quick to anoint projects with a #MeToo label, in hopes of establishing relevance through association with a swelling movement, but Dietland is the rare show that actually meets the criteria. Rachel Syme, The New Republic, "On AMC, ‘Dietland’ serves up a revenge fantasy for the era of MeToo.," 12 June 2018 Each of the four schools that will not get a waiver — Mading and Wesley elementary, Woodson PK-8 and Worthing High — were closed nine instructional days and did not meet the criteria for displaced students and teachers. Jacob Carpenter, Houston Chronicle, "HISD gets partial Harvey accountability waiver, still faces state sanctions," 6 June 2018 Not long ago, the Centers for Disease Control noted that nearly twice as many men versus women met the diagnostic criteria for alcohol dependence during the year analyzed, and men were found to be twice as likely to binge drink as women. Ginia Bellafante, New York Times, "Schneiderman’s Downfall Puts a Spotlight on Men, Alcohol and Violence," 9 May 2018 By that standard, nearly 97% of India’s roughly 600,000 villages already met the criteria in 2014. Kate Samuelson, Time, "India’s Last Village Goes Electric, But Millions Still See Dim Returns," 3 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

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

15 Feb 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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