cri·​tique | \krə-ˈtēk, kri-\

Definition of critique 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: an act of criticizing especially : a critical (see critical sense 1c) estimate or discussion a critique of the poet's work an honest critique of her art


critiqued; critiquing

Definition of critique (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: to examine critically : review critique the plan

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Synonyms for critique

Synonyms: Noun

criticism, examen, notice, review

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Critique is an alteration of an archaic word that referred generally to criticism. Critique itself dates to the early 18th century and originally referred to a piece of writing that criticized a literary or artistic work. The words criticism, critique, and review overlap in meaning. Criticism usually means "the act of criticizing" or a "remark or comment that expresses disapproval," but it can also refer to the activity of making judgments about the qualities of books, movies, etc. (as in "literary criticism").Critique is a somewhat formal word that typically refers to a careful judgment in which someone gives an opinion about something. Review can refer to an essay analyzing a literary or artistic work, but can also sometimes imply a more casual or personal opinion.

Examples of critique in a Sentence


She wrote a radical critique of the philosopher's early essays. They gave a fair and honest critique of her art.


The class convened to critique the student's latest painting.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Such critiques, and the failure to replicate many of the findings in the literature, have led researchers to improve their methods. Matthew Hutson, WSJ, "‘The New Mind Readers’ Review: Scanning for Thoughts," 27 Nov. 2018 Orlando, which reportedly received a similar critique, considering starting a community development fund to invest in local tech companies. Gaby Del Valle, Vox, "Amazon HQ2 likely to be split between Crystal City, VA, and Long Island City, NY," 6 Nov. 2018 Grafton Tanner has a critique of the Time Well Spent movement from the left: In a time when free-market capitalism is the only game in town, massively centralized tech companies have virtually unfettered reign. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Twitter’s case for keeping Alex Jones is falling apart," 10 Aug. 2018 Under Trump, the department has issued regular stinging critiques of Russia, including on human rights and press freedom. Matthew Lee,, "Trump wish for warm Putin ties highlights policy disconnect," 14 July 2018 In a meeting, neighbors also mentioned a common critique of sober living homes: that the profitable business can attract bad actors only out for a profit, to the detriment of people looking to truly recover from addiction. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Waiting for state sober living home rules, cities add their own restrictions," 7 July 2018 These critiques — and at worst attacks — are part of why some members of the public have such little trust in the media. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "The Capital Gazette shooting and what’s wrong with the current public discourse about the media," 29 June 2018 Doolin takes the critique in stride, agreeing somewhat. Mike Hutton, Post-Tribune, "Hutton: What else can be said about Andrean's Michael Doolin? Vanderbilt recruit seeks perfection," 15 June 2018 The meeting will include a critique of members’ paintings (one each) by guest artist Charcee Colocia, followed by a watercolor demonstration. Laura Groch,, "North County Community News, June 14," 14 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

There are simple ways to make your gym more inclusive, and evaluating the gym space and being open to critique are great places to start. SELF, "Trainers and Fitness Pros Can't Help People of Color While Remaining Silent About Racism," 1 Nov. 2018 Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi, who recently opened up about being raped as a teenager, was among the people who took to Twitter to critique the way the Iowa senator conducted himself. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "Senator Chuck Grassley Got Called Out for His Behavior During the Ford-Kavanaugh Hearing," 27 Sep. 2018 Although vile, the issue here is not solely about sexualizing, projecting and critiquing the desirability of a five-month-old baby, but the perpetuation of colorism. Yaminah Mayo, Glamour, "Khloé Kardashian Shouldn't Have to 'Block Out' Racist Remarks About True," 20 Sep. 2018 Imagine being in the spotlight and having strangers critiquing your intentions. Andrea Park, Teen Vogue, "People Are Shaming Victoria Beckham Over Brooklyn Beckham's Tattoos," 26 July 2018 Imagine being in the spotlight and having strangers critiquing your intentions. Andrea Park, Allure, "Victoria Beckham Is Being Mommy-Shamed for Brooklyn Having "Too Many" Tattoos," 26 July 2018 Add over 47 million people watching on—critiquing every zoomed-in detail on Twitter—along with the actual Queen of England, and that requires expertise and a resolve stronger than the best stiff-hold hairspray. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Exclusive: Meghan Markle's Hairstylist Says They Didn't Overthink Her Messy Bun," 21 May 2018 Emblematic of the politics surrounding ECOT: The Ohio Democratic Party unveiled a website critiquing Yost's relationship with the school. Mary Kilpatrick,, "Democrats again push ECOT as a central campaign issue," 10 May 2018 These, of course, are the portals to the world that dozens of artists explore, critique and celebrate in the show proper, a somewhat frenetic assemblage situated inside the museum’s fourth-floor galleries. Steve Johnson,, "MCA's new 'I Was Raised on the Internet' exhibition asks what the web has done to us," 2 July 2018

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


1653, in the meaning defined above


1751, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for critique


borrowed from French, borrowed from Latin critica "evaluation of literary works," borrowed from Greek kritikḗ noun derivative from feminine of kritikós "discerning, capable of judging" — more at critic entry 1


derivative of critique entry 1

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Statistics for critique

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for critique

The first known use of critique was in 1653

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More Definitions for critique



English Language Learners Definition of critique

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a careful judgment in which you give your opinion about the good and bad parts of something (such as a piece of writing or a work of art)



English Language Learners Definition of critique (Entry 2 of 2)

: to express your opinion about the good and bad parts of (something) : to give a critique of (something)

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More from Merriam-Webster on critique

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with critique

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for critique

Spanish Central: Translation of critique

Nglish: Translation of critique for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of critique for Arabic Speakers

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to enclose within walls

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