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1expressing adverse or disapproving comments or judgments:he was critical of many U.S. welfare programs 2expressing or involving an analysis of the merits and faults of a work of literature, music, or art:she never won the critical acclaim she sought (of a published literary or musical text) incorporating a detailed and scholarly analysis and commentary:a critical edition of a Bach sonata involving the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgement:professors often find it difficult to encourage critical thinking in their students
3(of a situation or problem) having the potential to become disastrous; at a point of crisis:the flood waters had not receded, and the situation was still critical (of a person) extremely ill and at risk of death:he had been in critical condition since undergoing surgery having a decisive or crucial importance in the success, failure, or existence of something:temperature is a critical factor in successful fruit storage getting banks lending again was critical to any recovery
& Physics relating to or denoting a point of transition from one state to another.
(of a nuclear reactor or fuel) maintaining a self-sustaining chain reaction:the reactor is due to go critical in October