crit·​i·​cism ˈkri-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce criticism (audio)
: the act of criticizing usually unfavorably
seeking encouragement rather than criticism
: a critical observation or remark
an unfair criticism
had a minor criticism of the design
: the art of evaluating or analyzing works of art or literature
also : writings expressing such evaluation or analysis
an anthology of literary criticism
: the scientific investigation of literary documents (such as the Bible) in regard to such matters as origin, text, composition, or history

Examples of criticism in a Sentence

There was much public criticism directed at the senator. In this job you need to be able to take criticism. I asked my sister for some constructive criticism of my essay before I tried to revise it. I had one minor criticism about her design.
Recent Examples on the Web Biden has stuck with Israel despite his own mounting frustrations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, widespread criticism of Israel’s indiscriminate bombing campaign in Gaza as well as its blocking of humanitarian aid to Palestinians, and increasing protests against his policy. Brian Bennett, TIME, 4 May 2024 In Michigan, the tent encampments in Ann Arbor and at Michigan State University have not resulted in police crackdowns, but police did make one arrest on April 26 at Wayne State University that drew criticism from many faculty members in a letter. Niraj Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 4 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for criticism 

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

Word History


critic entry 1 + -ism

First Known Use

1606, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of criticism was in 1606

Dictionary Entries Near criticism

Cite this Entry

“Criticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


crit·​i·​cism ˈkrit-ə-ˌsiz-əm How to pronounce criticism (audio)
: the act of criticizing and especially of finding fault
: a critical remark or comment
: a careful judgment or review especially by a critic

More from Merriam-Webster on criticism

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