American Dictionary of the English Language

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CRITICAL, adjective [Latin Gr. See Critic.]

1. Relating to criticism; nicely exact; as a critical dissertation on Homer.

2. Having the skill or power nicely to distinguish beauties from blemishes; a a critical judge; a critical auditor; a critical ear; critical taste.

3. Making nice distinctions; accurate; as critical rules.

4. Capable of judging with accuracy; discerning beauties and faults; nicely judicious in matters of literature and the fine arts; as, Virgil was a critical poet.

5. Capable of judging with accuracy; conforming to exact rules of propriety; exact; particular; as, to be critical in rites and ceremonies, or in the selection of books.

6. Inclined to find fault, or to judge with severity.

7. [See Crisis.] Pertaining to a crisis; marking the time or state of a disease which indicates its termination in the death or recovery of the patient; as critical days, or critical symptoms.

8. Producing a crisis or change in a disease; indicating a crisis; as a critical sweat.

9. Decisive; noting a time or state on which the issue of things depends; important, as regards the consequences; as a critical time or moment; a critical juncture.

10. Formed or situated to determine or decide, or having the crisis at command; important or essential for determining; as a critical post.