cru·cial | \ˈkrü-shəl \

Definition of crucial 

1 archaic : cruciform

2a : important or essential as resolving a crisis : decisive She played a crucial role in the negotiations.

b : marked by final determination of a doubtful issue the crucial game of a series

c : important, significant … what use we make of them will be the crucial question.— Stanley Kubrick Vitamins are crucial for maintaining good health.

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Synonyms for crucial


critical, key, pivotal, vital

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acute, critical, crucial mean of uncertain outcome. acute stresses intensification of conditions leading to a culmination or breaking point. an acute housing shortage critical adds to acute implications of imminent change, of attendant suspense, and of decisiveness in the outcome. the war has entered a critical phase crucial suggests a dividing of the ways and often a test or trial involving the determination of a future course or direction. a crucial vote

Examples of crucial in a Sentence

Vitamins are crucial for maintaining good health. It's crucial that we arrive before 8 o'clock. Teachers are crucial to the success of the school. She played a crucial role in the meeting.
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Recent Examples on the Web

But the inclusion of Mexico and Canada has been crucial, bid leaders say, not least because a U.S.-only bid would have faced more opposition from voters around the world. Grant Wahl,, "USA's Joint Bid Makes Final Play for Votes Ahead of 2026 World Cup Decision Day," 11 June 2018 The encounter could influence the global oil market given it comes a week before a crucial OPEC meeting in Vienna, providing a last-minute chance for the two leaders to iron out a possible oil-output increase. Fortune, "Watch Out: This Could Be the World Economy's Most Important Week of 2018," 11 June 2018 It's expected to be a crucial meeting, most likely determining the future of Gonzales County EMS. Caleb Downs, San Antonio Express-News, "Husband, wife accused of embezzling $150K in donations to Gonzales County EMS," 6 June 2018 Andrew Phelps said late Tuesday that a technical glitch had cut off crucial information: that the alert concerned elevated levels of a natural toxin in a local reservoir. NBC News, "Oregon official apologizes after cryptic emergency alert alarms residents," 30 May 2018 Andrew Phelps said late Tuesday that a technical glitch had cut off crucial information: that the alert concerned elevated levels of a natural toxin in a local reservoir. CBS News, "Oregon official apologizes after cryptic emergency alert reading "Prepare for Action"," 30 May 2018 The Trump Interior and Agriculture Departments are attempting to rein in these abuses, reminding federal employees that private landowners are crucial for conservation and economic stability across rural America. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Worthy Pardon for the Hammonds," 10 July 2018 This proved crucial for Washington after Brian Anderson answered in the eighth with a three-run home run off reliever Kelvin Herrera. Andre C. Fernandez, miamiherald, "Marlins match largest blown lead in club history in demoralizing loss to Nationals," 5 July 2018 Energy storage projects like these are crucial for an energy grid, especially one that relies on renewables. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Tesla Is Revving Up to Build the World's Largest Battery Farm in California," 2 July 2018

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

1706, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for crucial

French, from Latin cruc-, crux cross

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Dictionary Entries near crucial







crucian carp

Statistics for crucial

Last Updated

9 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for crucial

The first known use of crucial was in 1706

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More Definitions for crucial



English Language Learners Definition of crucial

: extremely important


cru·cial | \ˈkrü-shəl \

Kids Definition of crucial

1 : being a final or very important test or decision : decisive a crucial battle

2 : very important : significant Water is a crucial element in our weather.

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More from Merriam-Webster on crucial

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for crucial

Spanish Central: Translation of crucial

Nglish: Translation of crucial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crucial for Arabic Speakers

Comments on crucial

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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