crit·​i·​cism | \ ˈkri-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce criticism (audio) \

Definition of criticism

1a : the act of criticizing usually unfavorably seeking encouragement rather than criticism
b : a critical observation or remark an unfair criticism had a minor criticism of the design
c : critique
2 : the art of evaluating or analyzing works of art or literature also : writings expressing such evaluation or analysis an anthology of literary criticism
3 : the scientific investigation of literary documents (such as the Bible) in regard to such matters as origin, text, composition, or history

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Synonyms for criticism


critique, examen, notice, review

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Romania has faced international criticism because of legal changes considered to undermine anti-corruption efforts, including warnings from the European Union about its concerns over the rule of law. Washington Post, "Romania’s president blasts government over corruption report," 11 July 2019 Amazon already faces fierce criticism from politicians on the right and left, including President Trump and Democratic presidential candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Ben Casselman, New York Times, "Amazon’s Latest Experiment: Retraining Its Work Force," 11 July 2019 The Boston Breakers folded prior to the 2018 season and Sky Blue FC faced criticism last year for dismal training facilities and housing conditions. Jamie Goldberg,, "Will support for the World Cup-winning U.S. Women’s National Team carry over to the National Women’s Soccer League?," 10 July 2019 In spite of the criticism however, the option soon returned in February. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Elon Musk says free self-driving chip upgrade could come to older Teslas this year," 8 July 2019 The accusations come as the T faces widespread criticism. Vernal Coleman,, "Ex-MBTA official says he was fired for flagging serious safety issues," 7 July 2019 Putin, who was in his first year of his presidency, faced heavy criticism at the time for his failure to immediately interrupt his vacation to deal with the catastrophe. Time, "A Nuclear Reactor on Fire-Damaged Submarine Remains Safe and 'Operational,' Russian Authorities Say," 4 July 2019 Rapinoe hasn't been the only American who has faced criticism at the World Cup. Anne M. Peterson,, "Megan Rapinoe says she’s ‘uniquely and very deeply American’," 3 July 2019 For now, though, Pelosi faces criticism from all sides, the Democrats deal with disarray, and people are wondering about lessons learned in the whole situation. Graeme Mcmillan, WIRED, "While You Were Offline: The Great Debate(s) That Rocked the Internet," 30 June 2019

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

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for criticism

critic entry 1 + -ism

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Statistics for criticism

Last Updated

14 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for criticism

The first known use of criticism was in 1607

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More Definitions for criticism



English Language Learners Definition of criticism

: the act of expressing disapproval and of noting the problems or faults of a person or thing : the act of criticizing someone or something
: a remark or comment that expresses disapproval of someone or something
: the activity of making careful judgments about the good and bad qualities of books, movies, etc.


crit·​i·​cism | \ ˈkri-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce criticism (audio) \

Kids Definition of criticism

1 : the act of finding fault His criticism of her decision made her stop and rethink the plan.
2 : a remark that expresses disapproval I had only one criticism about his work.
3 : a careful judgment or review especially by a person whose job is to judge the value, worth, beauty, or quality of something

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Comments on criticism

What made you want to look up criticism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


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