Definition of criticism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkridəˌsizəm/


1The expression of disapproval of someone or something based on perceived faults or mistakes: he received a lot of criticism he ignored the criticisms of his friends
More example sentences
  • Indeed, readers have written to the Evening Press expressing these very criticisms.
  • I think many of the criticisms expressed here hold a lot of water.
  • No criticisms were being made of the Defendants on the basis that they were negligent.
censure, condemnation, denunciation, disapproval, disparagement, opprobrium, fault-finding, attack, broadside, stricture, recrimination
informal flak, bad press, panning, put down, knock, slam, brickbats, potshot(s)
formal excoriation
2The analysis and judgment of the merits and faults of a literary or artistic work: alternative methods of criticism supported by well-developed literary theories
More example sentences
  • Indeed, philosophy should be a good deal more like literary or artistic criticism than it thinks it is.
  • Jung pointed to the decline over the past years in the fields of Austrian culture and artistic criticism.
  • The internet is a good stage for writers to receive criticism and support, and to improve quickly.
evaluation, assessment, appraisal, analysis, judgment;
commentary, interpretation, explanation, explication, elucidation
2.1The scholarly investigation of literary or historical texts to determine their origin or intended form.
Example sentences
  • Today, we have the tools of historical scholarship, biblical criticism, and science.
  • It is a work of biography and criticism with the drama and sweep of a historical novel.
  • Many students would be happier if poetry was poetry, and criticism was criticism.


Early 17th century: from critic or Latin criticus + -ism.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: crit·i·cism

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