su·​per·​crit·​i·​cal | \ ˌsü-pər-ˈkri-ti-kəl How to pronounce supercritical (audio) \

Definition of supercritical

: being or having a temperature above a critical temperature supercritical fluid

Examples of supercritical in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During the supercritical startup stage of a company’s development, business leaders must manage through a time of high growth and tremendous potential, but often are lacking in resources and established norms that provide stability and consistency. Susan Alban, Fortune, "How to be a fair-pay CEO," 25 Aug. 2020 The work requires an instrument called a supercritical fluid chromatograph, or SFC for short. Katherine Ellen Foley, Quartz, "Covid-19 is destabilizing an entire generation of young scientists," 15 June 2020 However, as is the case with most material, Teflon behaves much differently under high pressure and when immersed in supercritical oxygen. Eric Berger & Lee Hutchinson, Ars Technica, "The Greatest Leap, part 5: Saving the crew of Apollo 13," 11 Apr. 2020 But only one project has actually found supercritical fluids. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "Want Unlimited Clean Energy? Just Drill the World's Hottest Well," 13 Feb. 2020 The Energy Futures Initiative estimated that with 10 GT of CO2 converted into a supercritical liquid, the state in which it is stored underground in geologic formations, the total volume would be about 88 billion barrels. Michael J. Coren, Quartz, "A stable climate may require a carbon removal industry twice as big as the one for fossil fuels," 25 Sep. 2019 Other solvent methods involve drawing out the caffeine using only water (the Swiss water technique), or highly pressurized carbon dioxide (the supercritical carbon dioxide technique). Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Turns Out Decaf Coffee Has Caffeine, Which Feels Like a Betrayal," 29 Aug. 2019 In the half-second that the dome was closed, the plutonium had gone supercritical, initiating a nuclear chain reaction and releasing a lethal dose of gamma rays that damaged Slotin’s cells beyond repair. Julian G. West, The Atlantic, "The Atomic-Bomb Core That Escaped World War II," 2 Apr. 2018 In a supercritical brain, incoming signals would get lost in a frenzy of electrical activity, and the effect would be like trying to talk to a seizure victim. Jennifer Ouellette, Quanta Magazine, "Brains May Teeter Near Their Tipping Point," 14 June 2018

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

1934, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of supercritical was in 1934

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Cite this Entry

“Supercritical.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2020.

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