cru·​cial | \ ˈkrü-shəl How to pronounce crucial (audio) \

Definition of crucial

1a : important, significant … what use we make of them will be the crucial question.— Stanley Kubrick Vitamins are crucial for maintaining good health.
b : important or essential as resolving a crisis : decisive She played a crucial role in the negotiations.
c : marked by final determination of a doubtful issue the crucial game of a series
2 archaic : cruciform

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Synonyms for crucial


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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 Yet the theatrical release is crucial for generating that momentum. Lindsey Mcginnis, The Christian Science Monitor, "How will Warner Bros. streaming impact moviegoing? Three questions.," 8 Jan. 2021 From the Boston Review: Domain expertise is crucial for any applied machine learning project. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, "How A.I. can speed up the COVID-19 vaccination drive," 5 Jan. 2021 That last caveat is crucial for some Ohio State defensive back prospects because Kerry Coombs needs a versatile room. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "What Jaheim Singletary’s commitment means for Ohio State football: Buckeyes recruiting," 2 Jan. 2021 Free and affordable health clinics are, in normal times, crucial for people who can’t afford care or are uninsured. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, "Free, affordable health clinics play crucial role in coronavirus pandemic," 1 Jan. 2021 Maintaining mental distance from those distractions is crucial for reaping the benefits of mindfulness. Jessica Boddy, Popular Science, "How to make the most of meditation with science," 1 Jan. 2021 The military bill President Trump vetoed in December contains several cybersecurity provisions that are crucial for protecting government networks, lawmakers and observers said. Grant Gross, Washington Examiner, "Defense authorization will pump up government cybersecurity," 31 Dec. 2020 Having social support is especially crucial for BIPOC Americans, who were disproportionately affected by all of the events of 2020, says Dr. Buquè. Elizabeth Gulino,, "2020 Gave Us One Thing Worth Keeping: Anger," 31 Dec. 2020 This year, government aid helped the most affected companies through the crisis, preventing bankruptcies, but the coming months could be crucial for the industry’s future. Washington Post, "Fewer people than usual will pop bottles of bubbly at midnight. Pour one out for France’s Champagne region.," 31 Dec. 2020

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 2

History and Etymology for crucial

French, from Latin cruc-, crux cross

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Time Traveler for crucial

Time Traveler

The first known use of crucial was in 1706

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Statistics for crucial

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Crucial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for crucial


How to pronounce crucial (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of crucial

: extremely important


cru·​cial | \ ˈkrü-shəl How to pronounce crucial (audio) \

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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