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critical thinking
logical thinking
strategic thinking
crucial thinking
rational thinking
analytical thinking
a critical point
a crucial point
a vital point
a climactic point
an analytical point
a climatic point
critical importance
crucial importance
major importance
significant importance
essential importance
extreme importance
a critical review
a skeptical review
a careful review
a cynical review
a negative review
an analytical review
a critical period
an important period
a significant period
a definitive period
an essential period
a pivotal period

Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near critical

Cite this Entry

“Critical.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on critical

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