crit·​i·​cism | \ ˈkri-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce criticism (audio) \

Definition of criticism

1a : the act of criticizing usually unfavorably seeking encouragement rather than criticism
b : a critical observation or remark an unfair criticism had a minor criticism of the design
c : critique
2 : the art of evaluating or analyzing works of art or literature also : writings expressing such evaluation or analysis an anthology of literary criticism
3 : the scientific investigation of literary documents (such as the Bible) in regard to such matters as origin, text, composition, or history

Synonyms for criticism


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Examples of criticism in a Sentence

There was much public criticism directed at the senator. In this job you need to be able to take criticism. I asked my sister for some constructive criticism of my essay before I tried to revise it. I had one minor criticism about her design.
Recent Examples on the Web With mounting investor criticism, Mr. Jope has toned down his rhetoric on purpose lately. Saabira Chaudhuri, WSJ, 20 May 2022 Newspapers on Sunday were filled with criticism of the police and what was portrayed as a public relations debacle. Josef Federman,, 15 May 2022 Sulipeck deleted the tweet after he was met with criticism and later deleted his entire Twitter account. Analis Bailey, USA TODAY, 10 May 2022 Allowing Trump to return to the platform would dovetail with Musk’s ongoing criticism of how the app approaches free speech. Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2022 The Republican leader's remarks were met with stark criticism Thursday, including from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Ariana Garcia, Chron, 6 May 2022 But the denials from appeals court judges combined with Mendez's criticism of the ISPs' legal arguments apparently persuaded the lobby groups not to go forward. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, 5 May 2022 Members of the Forest Hills Local Schools Board of Education were met with criticism from students and parents Monday night over their decision to again postpone Turpin High School's Diversity Day. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 3 May 2022 Disagreements have broken out among member nations over the erosion of democracy within the alliance, with criticism directed in particular at Turkey, Hungary and Poland. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of criticism

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for criticism

critic entry 1 + -ism

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Time Traveler for criticism

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The first known use of criticism was in 1607

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Statistics for criticism

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Criticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for criticism


crit·​i·​cism | \ ˈkri-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce criticism (audio) \

Kids Definition of criticism

1 : the act of finding fault His criticism of her decision made her stop and rethink the plan.
2 : a remark that expresses disapproval I had only one criticism about his work.
3 : a careful judgment or review especially by a person whose job is to judge the value, worth, beauty, or quality of something

More from Merriam-Webster on criticism

Nglish: Translation of criticism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of criticism for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about criticism


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