Synonyms & Antonyms of critical

1 given to making or expressing unfavorable judgments about things
  • adults tend to be critical of teenagers' taste in music and movies

Synonyms for critical

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Antonyms for critical

2 needing immediate attention
  • this problem isn't critical, so we can go home now and tend to it in the morning

Synonyms for critical

Words Related to critical

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Antonyms for critical

3 of the greatest possible importance
  • this is the critical exam that will largely determine your college career

Synonyms for critical

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See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About critical

How does the adjective critical contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of critical are captious, carping, censorious, faultfinding, and hypercritical. While all these words 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

When might captious be a better fit than critical?

While the synonyms captious and critical are close in meaning, captious suggests a readiness to detect trivial faults or raise objections on trivial grounds.

a captious critic

Where would carping be a reasonable alternative to critical?

The synonyms carping and critical are sometimes interchangeable, but carping implies an ill-natured or perverse picking of flaws.

a carping editorial

When could censorious be used to replace critical?

The words censorious and critical can be used in similar contexts, but censorious implies a disposition to be severely critical and condemnatory.

the censorious tone of the review

When can faultfinding be used instead of critical?

Although the words faultfinding and critical have much in common, faultfinding implies a querulous or exacting temperament.

a faultfinding reviewer

When is it sensible to use hypercritical instead of critical?

The words hypercritical and critical are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, hypercritical suggests a tendency to judge by unreasonably strict standards.

hypercritical disparagement of other people's work

Learn More About critical

Time Traveler for critical

Time Traveler

The first known use of critical was in 1556

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Cite this Entry

“Critical.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on critical

Nglish: Translation of critical for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of critical for Arabic Speakers

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