criterion

noun
cri·​te·​ri·​on | \ krī-ˈtir-ē-ən How to pronounce criterion (audio) also krə- \
plural criteria\ krī-​ˈtir-​ē-​ə How to pronounce criterion (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 The ability to fit big items and heavy loads in the bed is a key performance criterion for many pickup buyers. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup offers maneuverability, striking looks (review)," 24 Apr. 2021 And convenience isn’t the only criterion for voting rules. Ilya Shapiro, Washington Examiner, "The voter suppression lie," 22 Apr. 2021 Seen as the perpetual thorn in the eye of Human Resource, this hiring criterion extends its boundaries to the external and internal selection process. Lee Meadows, Forbes, "Analyzing The True-Isms In The Hiring Process," 21 Apr. 2021 Imagine a liberal place where in 2021 race can still be used as a criterion in selecting and rejecting applicants, choosing prospective dorm roommates, organizing segregated dorms, and restricting access to special places on campus. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "American Universities Have Lost Their Prestige," 29 Apr. 2021 The ability to fit big items and heavy loads in the bed is a key performance criterion for many pickup buyers. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz compact pickup offers maneuverability, striking looks (review)," 24 Apr. 2021 And if only the United States could become a global leader in a push to include the climate as a valid criterion for status under the Refugee Convention. John D. Sutter, CNN, "California wildfires. Hurricanes on the coast. Is anywhere safe from the climate crisis?," 12 Apr. 2021 But the measure also outlined very specific case criterion that would need to be met in order for local health officials to take action. Dave Boucher, Detroit Free Press, "Whitmer signs COVID-19 relief bills, but vetoes more than $1 billion in GOP-backed deals," 9 Mar. 2021 Given the complexity of the ESG investment universe, the current statements about ESG outperformance may not be meeting this criterion. Wayne Winegarden, National Review, "Are ESG Funds Really a Good Long-Term Investment?," 16 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for criterion

Time Traveler

The first known use of criterion was in 1622

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Statistics for criterion

Last Updated

14 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Criterion.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/criterion. Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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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

Comments on criterion

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