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

There are also criteria for veterans who served in Korea for 30 consecutive days or 60 nonconsecutive days anytime since June 30, 1949. courant.com, "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 9 Sep. 2019 House size is just one criterion for selecting a standby generator. David Agrell, Popular Mechanics, "Should You Buy a Standby Generator?," 25 Aug. 2019 Openness of cities to allow overseas students to work while studying was another important criterion for 59% of the students, said QS. Sangeeta Tanwar, Quartz India, "Bengaluru ranks a poor 81 among global education hubs—and that’s India’s best," 1 Aug. 2019 Not only are the eligibility criteria fairly strict, but three-quarters of the eligible families don’t end up getting them. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "America’s dual housing crisis and what Democrats plan to do about it, explained," 30 July 2019 Until a few years ago, there were no criteria in place for screening people who were at risk for lung cancer—which is one reason why, historically, so few cases have been diagnosed in early stages. Amanda Macmillan, Health.com, "What Is Lung Cancer’s Survival Rate?," 23 July 2019 There are two criteria: your ZIP code area must be eligible, and your individual mailbox must be uniquely coded (this may not be the case for some apartment buildings, according to the USPS). Barbara Krasnoff, The Verge, "How to see your mail before it arrives," 15 July 2019 The hospital association said there should be more objective and scientific criteria used to determine costs, rather than expert testimony and estimates of care needs. Meredith Cohn, baltimoresun.com, "Baltimore jury's record $229 million malpractice verdict may change a life — but likely not the system," 4 July 2019 All this means that expertise is not the sole criterion for replacing Mr Draghi. The Economist, "The ECB presidency is distinct but not immune from backroom deals," 15 June 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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Learn More about criterion

Dictionary Entries near criterion

crit

critch

criteriology

criterion

criterium

crith

crithmene

Statistics for criterion

Last Updated

13 Sep 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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