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 Scores of games may be higher, but there can still be plenty of tremendous and crucial defensive plays turned in 38-35 game. Johnny Parlay, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Why you should bet on Clemson to win national championship," 12 Jan. 2020 This idea is crucial to help resist simplistic algorithmic recommendations. K.n.c., The Economist, "Open Future A cry for freedom in the algorithmic age," 10 Jan. 2020 This step is crucial to ensuring that your leather will last longer and won't show its age. Natalie Schumann, Country Living, "Here's How To Clean Leather, Whether it's a Couch, a Purse, or Something Else," 10 Jan. 2020 The sales team’s messaging was crucial to ensuring a smooth takeoff for OxyContin in its first years on the market. Andrew Joseph, STAT, "Faced with prescriber fears of OxyContin misuse, Purdue sales reps misleadingly played up drug’s safety, documents show," 9 Jan. 2020 Representation is crucial, not just on television but in all media. Rosy Cordero,, "Diary of a Future President," 6 Jan. 2020 Likewise, building peer relationships with the 10 combatant commanders — who are the end users of the Space Force in conducting operations — will be crucial. James Stavridis, Twin Cities, "James Stavridis: May the (Space) Force be with you," 31 Dec. 2019 But as with jade rolling, the right technique is crucial. Banu Ibrahim, CNN Underscored, "What is gua sha? The trendy skin care tool dominating Instagram, explained," 30 Dec. 2019 McGovern is important because a veteran center is crucial for a young quarterback like Lock. Ryan O’halloran, The Denver Post, "Broncos Analysis: John Elway’s free-agent strategy should shift toward keeping own players," 30 Dec. 2019

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 2020

Cite this Entry

“Crucial.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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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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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

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


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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