crit·​i·​cal·​i·​ty ˌkri-tə-ˈka-lə-tē How to pronounce criticality (audio)
: a critical quality, state, or nature
The true criticality of that basic political rationale is being demonstrated in the 1990s.Colin S. Gray
But the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security, in a report released Tuesday, found that the list was not child's play: all these "unusual or out-of-place" sites "whose criticality is not readily apparent" are inexplicably included in the official federal antiterrorism database.Eric Lipton
specifically, physics : the state in which a mass of fissionable material sustains or is able to sustain a nuclear chain reaction
Criticality can be achieved by increasing mass (adding more plutonium) or … by compressing a barely subcritical mass to increase its density. Daniel J. Lenihan
How big is a critical mass? That depends on the proportion of fissile material and on its shape and configuration. Surrounding the mass with a neutron-reflecting substance further reduces the size needed for criticality, by returning neutrons that would otherwise escape. Richard Wolfson

Examples of criticality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Here, this project team was not aware of the criticality or importance of its work on overall company strategy. Dipak Kulkarni, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2024 The culture metric recognizes the criticality of an internal culture that values the development of employees—through initiatives such as continuous growth through learning, feedback and mentorship—that nurture human potential and purpose. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, Forbes, 30 Nov. 2023 Previously underestimated initiatives such as developer experience gained criticality, and Google DORA metrics became baseline for DevOps. Forrester, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 Conduct Cybercrime Drills Government organizations can simulate what would happen in the event of a real breach and help employees realize the criticality of such threats. Mohan S, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2023 Researchers are still investigating that possibility, but many of them have already proposed new criteria for distinguishing between the apparent criticality of random noise and the true criticality of collective interactions among neurons. John M. Beggs, Quanta Magazine, 31 Jan. 2023 Next, map these according to their criticality and establish to what degree each vendor must be assessed. Aki Eldar, Forbes, 6 Jan. 2023 The ubiquity and criticality of S7-1500 PLCs are the two traits that motivated the researchers to do a deep dive into the security of the devices. WIRED, 10 Jan. 2023 Additionally, Qualys TruRisk quantifies security risk by workload criticality and vulnerability detections and correlates it with ransomware, malware and exploitation threat intelligence to prioritize, trace and reduce risk. Adrian Bridgwater, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'criticality.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1763, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of criticality was in 1763

Dictionary Entries Near criticality

Cite this Entry

“Criticality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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