1 adj A critical time, factor, or situation is extremely important.
The incident happened at a critical point in the campaign..., He says setting priorities is of critical importance..., How you finance a business is critical to the success of your venture.
critically adv ADV with v, ADV adj
Economic prosperity depends critically on an open world trading system..., It was a critically important moment in his career.
2 adj A critical situation is very serious and dangerous.
The German authorities are considering an airlift if the situation becomes critical..., Its day-to-day finances are in a critical state.
critically adv usu ADV adj
Moscow is running critically low on food supplies.
3 adj If a person is critical or in a critical condition in hospital, they are seriously ill.
Ten of the injured are said to be in critical condition.
critically adv usu ADV adj, also ADV with v
She was critically ill...
4 adj To be criticalof someone or something means to criticize them.
oft ADJ of n
His report is highly critical of the trial judge..., He has apologised for critical remarks he made about the referee.
She spoke critically of Lara.
5 adj A critical approach to something involves examining and judging it carefully.
We need to become critical text-readers..., ...the critical analysis of political ideas.
Wyman watched them critically.
6 adj If something or someone receives critical acclaim, critics say that they are very good. ADJ n The film met with considerable critical and public acclaim...
1 n-sing In physics, the critical mass of a substance is the minimum amount of it that is needed for a nuclear chain reaction. (TECHNICAL) also no det
2 n-sing A critical mass of something is an amount of it that makes it possible for something to happen or continue.
also no det
Only in this way can the critical mass of participation be reached.
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"Collins Cobuild English Dictionary for Advanced Learners 4th edition published in 2003 © HarperCollins Publishers 1987, 1995, 2001, 2003 and Collins A-Z Thesaurus 1st edition first published in 1995 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995"