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noun (1)

crit·​ic ˈkri-tik How to pronounce critic (audio)
: one who engages often professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performances
a literary critic
a film critic
a theater critic
: one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique
Critics of the new law say that it will not reduce crime.
: one given to harsh or captious judgment
a fierce critic of immigration policies


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noun (2)

archaic : criticism
archaic : critique

Examples of critic in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Mejia, a fierce critic of LAPD spending, has repeatedly taken aim at the package of police raises negotiated by the mayor, which is supposed to help with recruitment but also has increased the size of the budget shortfall. David Zahniser, Los Angeles Times, 6 Apr. 2024 Wilson is a former political journalist, not a critic, who lives on neighboring Islay, famous for its whiskeys. Stephen Metcalf, The Atlantic, 5 Apr. 2024 Ehrlich is a critic at IndieWire, which shares a parent company, Penske Media, with Variety. Ellise Shafer, Variety, 5 Apr. 2024 Rachel Bernhard joined the Journal Sentinel as dining critic in June 2023. Rachel Bernhard, Journal Sentinel, 4 Apr. 2024 Beyond worries about interest rates staying high, critics say the U.S. stock market has also simply grown too expensive after soaring more than 20% in six months. Yuri Kageyama, Quartz, 3 Apr. 2024 But critics say an emphasis on profits changed that Boeing was once known as a company that put engineering excellence ahead of financial performance, and produced planes that were the gold standard in the industry. Chris Isidore, CNN, 25 Mar. 2024 Kenya Barris loves remakes and reboots, despite what critics say about frequent reimaginings of beloved films in recent years. Nathan Vinson, Peoplemag, 25 Mar. 2024 Neither film has been a hit with critics, but audiences have been more receptive. Jake Coyle, Quartz, 24 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'critic.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun (1)

borrowed from Latin criticus, borrowed from Greek kritikós, derivative of kritikós, adjective, "discerning, capable of judging," from kritós "separated, picked out" (verbal adjective of krī́nein "to separate, choose, decide, judge") + -ikos -ic entry 1 — more at certain entry 1

Noun (2)

borrowed from French critique critique entry 1

First Known Use

Noun (1)

1587, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Noun (2)

1616, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of critic was in 1587

Dictionary Entries Near critic

Cite this Entry

“Critic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a person who makes or gives a judgment of the value, worth, beauty, or excellence of something

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