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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Patience and careful monitoring at this stage is crucial. Washington Post, 11 May 2022 That might sound aggressive, if not a tad cutthroat, but showing equal and strong interest in the mental and physical health of your people is crucial to employee retention, especially. Rachel King, Fortune, 11 May 2022 Raising the pup alongside a foster sibling is crucial because of the social nature of coyotes, Mertz said. Zoe Sottile, CNN, 8 May 2022 Global health agencies do not have the money to buy the antivirals or tests, which are crucial because the medication needs to be started early in the course of infection. Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, 8 May 2022 If winter hiking is your main focus, waterproofing and insulation are going to be crucial. Lauren Breedlove, Travel + Leisure, 6 May 2022 Both traits are crucial in a 20-horse field, and, if Rosario can orchestrate a balanced run, trainer Steve Asmussen will go home with his first Derby win. Jonathan Saxon, The Courier-Journal, 6 May 2022 Morris is likely to start alongside Carr, and how those two pair together will be crucial in shaping the season. Nick Moyle, San Antonio Express-News, 6 May 2022 As a recent survey by Microsoft found that humans have an average attention span of eight seconds (less than a goldfish), hitting potential customers with the right message at the right time is crucial. Bernard Marr, Forbes, 5 May 2022 See More

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.

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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The first known use of crucial was in 1706

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Last Updated

16 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Crucial.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for crucial


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on crucial

Nglish: Translation of crucial for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of crucial for Arabic Speakers


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