verb crit·i·cize \ ˈkri-tə-ˌsīz \
|Updated on: 12 Aug 2018

Definition of criticize

criticized; criticizing
: to act as a critic
1 : to consider the merits and demerits of and judge accordingly : evaluate
  • He asked me to criticize his drawings.
2 : to find fault with : point out the faults of
  • His boss criticized him for his sloppy work.


play \ˈkri-tə-ˌsī-zə-bəl\ adjective



Examples of criticize in a Sentence

  1. His boss criticized him for his sloppy work habits.

  2. The judge was widely criticized for his verdict.

  3. The editor criticized the author's work as trite.

  4. It seems as though all he ever does is criticize.

Recent Examples of criticize from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'criticize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of criticize

Synonym Discussion of criticize

criticize, reprehend, censure, reprobate, condemn, denounce mean to find fault with openly. criticize implies finding fault especially with methods or policies or intentions.
    • criticized the police for using violence
reprehend implies both criticism and severe rebuking.
    • reprehends the self-centeredness of today's students
censure carries a strong suggestion of authority and of reprimanding.
    • a Senator formally censured by his peers
reprobate implies strong disapproval or firm refusal to sanction.
    • reprobated his son's unconventional lifestyle
condemn usually suggests an unqualified and final unfavorable judgment.
    • condemned the government's racial policies
denounce adds to condemn the implication of a public declaration.
    • a pastoral letter denouncing abortion

CRITICIZE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of criticize for English Language Learners

  • : to express disapproval of (someone or something) : to talk about the problems or faults of (someone or something)

  • : to look at and make judgments about (something, such as a piece of writing or a work of art)

CRITICIZE Defined for Kids


verb crit·i·cize \ ˈkri-tə-ˌsīz \

Definition of criticize for Students

criticized; criticizing
1 : to examine and judge
2 : to find fault with

Word Root of criticize

The Greek word kritikos, meaning “able to judge,” gives us the root critic. Words from the Greek kritikos have something to do with judging. A critic is someone who judges the value or quality or something, such as a movie or book. Someone critical makes a lot of judgments and usually decides that things are not good. To criticize is to make a judgment that something is not good.

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having an air of easy unconcern

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