hy·​per·​crit·​i·​cal ˌhī-pər-ˈkri-ti-kəl How to pronounce hypercritical (audio)
: meticulously or excessively critical
hypercritically adverb
Choose the Right Synonym for hypercritical

critical, hypercritical, faultfinding, captious, carping, censorious mean inclined to look for and point out faults and defects.

critical may also imply an effort to see a thing clearly and truly in order to judge it fairly.

a critical essay

hypercritical suggests a tendency to judge by unreasonably strict standards.

hypercritical disparagement of other people's work

faultfinding implies a querulous or exacting temperament.

a faultfinding reviewer

captious suggests a readiness to detect trivial faults or raise objections on trivial grounds.

a captious critic

carping implies an ill-natured or perverse picking of flaws.

a carping editorial

censorious implies a disposition to be severely critical and condemnatory.

the censorious tone of the review

Example Sentences

if you go by what that hypercritical reviewer says, you are going to end up seeing very few movies
Recent Examples on the Web With spicy Mars retrograde in your analytical sixth house until January 12, your mood could alternate between upbeat and anxious, even veering into hypercritical mode. The Astrotwins, ELLE, 30 Nov. 2022 The brand, known for its daring yet flirty designs as well as the signature matching dress and opera glove sets, has taken the hypercritical industry and the hard-to-please Gen Z consumer demographic by storm. Angela Lei, Forbes, 7 July 2022 Many have been fed a diet of hypercritical narratives of American history and skepticism about the U.S. role in the world by their teachers. Bill Drexel, WSJ, 18 Mar. 2022 For one thing, Betsey’s stubbornness widens the rift between Holly and her own mother, June (Lindsay Duncan), who has always been hypercritical. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 17 Feb. 2022 Even if the courts agree to give Spears her freedom, what about the prying media and the hypercritical public? Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 24 Sep. 2021 Portraying one of the greatest singers of all time on screen is no easy feat, particularly in the hypercritical age of social media. Brande Victorian, Essence, 12 Aug. 2021 Stop exposing your children and your pets to your abusive, hypercritical father’s rants, and if your mother notices and asks why, be honest with her. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 14 June 2021 On today’s edition of Good Morning Britain, Piers Morgan stormed off the set after his co-host, Alex Beresford, addressed his hypercritical remarks of Meghan Markle as of late. Mia Davis, Essence, 9 Mar. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'hypercritical.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1605, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of hypercritical was in 1605

Dictionary Entries Near hypercritical

Cite this Entry

“Hypercritical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/hypercritical. Accessed 23 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


hy·​per·​crit·​i·​cal ˌhī-pər-ˈkrit-i-kəl How to pronounce hypercritical (audio)
: too critical
hypercritically adverb

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