critical point


Definition of critical point

: a point on the graph of a function where the derivative is zero or infinite

Examples of critical point in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Baltimore is at its most critical point in generations. Luke Broadwater,, "City Council President Brandon Scott enters race for Baltimore mayor, heating up 2020 contest," 13 Sep. 2019 Below this critical point, all species maintained steady populations. Quanta Magazine, "At the Far Ends of a New Universal Law," 15 Oct. 2014 When compared with other ancient bones, the cranium could change how anthropologists view a critical point in the evolution of humanlike primates. Ben Guarino, Anchorage Daily News, "This newfound 3.8-million-year-old skull called ‘iconic’ in human evolution," 29 Aug. 2019 Relations began to improve in early 2018, when Mr. Kim made the first of four trips to China, each timed at critical points in Pyongyang’s diplomatic maneuverings with the U.S. and South Korea. Timothy W. Martin, WSJ, "China’s Xi Meets North Korea’s Kim, Both Seeking Leverage With U.S.," 20 June 2019 What materials at critical points have in common, Polyakov realized, is their symmetries: the set of geometric transformations that leave these systems unchanged. Quanta Magazine, "Physicists Uncover Geometric ‘Theory Space’," 23 Feb. 2017 In recent years, the park’s flooding and erosion has reached a critical point, park advocates said, because of failures in the park’s aging drainage system, which dates from the 1930s or earlier. Sharon Otterman, New York Times, "Flooding in Riverside Park: Good for Ducks. Bad for Amtrak Trains Below?," 21 July 2019 But over the last decade, evidence has been mounting that the brain as a system functions much like water approaching the critical point of a phase transition. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Rat brains provide even more evidence our brains operate near tipping point," 7 June 2019 The rivalry reached a critical point in early 2015, when Macron brought a labor-reform bill before the Assembly for a vote. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "Can Emmanuel Macron Stem the Populist Tide?," 24 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'critical point.' 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 critical point

circa 1912, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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The first known use of critical point was circa 1912

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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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