1 of 2


cri·​tique krə-ˈtēk How to pronounce critique (audio)
: 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


2 of 2


critiqued; critiquing

transitive verb

: to examine critically : review
critique the plan

Did you know?

What’s the difference between criticism and critique? There’s some overlap in meaning, but they’re not the same in every situation. Criticism is most often used broadly to refer to the act of negatively criticizing someone or something (“I’m more interested in encouragement right now than criticism”) or a remark or comment that expresses disapproval (“She shared a minor criticism about the design”), while critique is a more formal word for a carefully expressed judgment, opinion, or evaluation of both the good and bad qualities of something—for example, books or movies. Thus, a critic can write a critique that may be full of criticism.

Example Sentences

Noun She wrote a radical critique of the philosopher's early essays. They gave a fair and honest critique of her art. Verb The class convened to critique the student's latest painting.
Recent Examples on the Web
Some events are played for laughs—for instance, the chaos that ensues when one doctor tries to turn another into a zombie—but the critique is clear. Elizabeth Alsop, The Atlantic, 28 Nov. 2022 The critique isn’t directly shared with Sondheim — Max, also the author of the first biography of the late novelist David Foster Wallace, never loses sight of his submissive role — but the game of matching wits is on. Charles Mcnultytheater Critic, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2022 Is the critique in that episode directed at the audience? Selome Hailu, Variety, 10 Nov. 2022 But Musk seemingly brushed off the critique, responding with a pair of sideways laughing emojis. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2022 His essay attacking the effects of the French Revolution, My Neighbor, Posterity (1797), was framed as a critique of the evolution of language, of the violent words and meanings that had emerged to articulate France’s new reality. Clare Bucknell, Harper’s Magazine , 26 Oct. 2022 Jokes aside, fans have interpreted this lyric as a critique of predatory men who infantilize women. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 20 Oct. 2022 The race issue was raised on social media by numerous people involved in documentary film — though it has since been disavowed as a legitimate critique of the film. Sebastian Junger, National Review, 14 Oct. 2022 That's what makes Fish's revival truly revelatory, his ability to plumb the depths of a musical that has long been whitewashed and revered as a piece of Americana, rather than understood as a critique of it. Maureen Lee Lenker,, 16 Sep. 2022
On social media, some Indian writers and members of the political opposition defended Mr. Lapid’s right to critique the film on its merits. Hari Kumar, New York Times, 29 Nov. 2022 People are afraid to critique their own side — and unwilling to be friends with anyone on the other side. The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Nov. 2022 The school also brings in professionals like Howard Shore (The Lord of the Rings) and Sean Callery (Jessica Jones) to critique student compositions and recordings. Jeff Bond, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Nov. 2022 For another work meant to critique the divide between art and the outside world, Haacke set up a telex machine to print live news updates on a seemingly endless paper scroll. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2022 Experts say part of the challenge in holding these industries to account is that people are hesitant to critique the renewables sector over fears this may temper enthusiasm to move away from fossil fuels. Mélissa Godin, Time, 25 Oct. 2022 Horror movies have often existed as much for thrills as to critique the times. Allaire Nuss,, 12 Aug. 2022 As in a writing workshop, each student has to bring in two games to critique. Wired, 20 July 2022 After the show, some people will disappear into the night, while others will congregate under the marquee sign to critique the show or linger over the evening. Washington Post, 8 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

Word History



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

First Known Use


1679, in the meaning defined above


1752, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of critique was in 1679


Dictionary Entries Near critique

Cite this Entry

“Critique.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
: an act or instance of criticizing
esp : a critical estimate or discussion


2 of 2 verb
critiqued; critiquing
: to examine critically : review
critiqued the plan

More from Merriam-Webster on critique

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