Definition of criticism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkrɪtɪsɪz(ə)m/


[mass noun]
1The expression of disapproval of someone or something on the basis of perceived faults or mistakes: he received a lot of criticism [count noun]: 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, reproval, condemnation, denunciation, disapproval, disparagement, opprobrium, captiousness, fault-finding, carping, cavilling;
chastisement, castigation, upbraiding, berating, abuse, vituperation, scolding, chiding;
reproofs, remonstrances, broadsides, strictures, admonishments, recriminations, aspersions, slurs, smears
informal nitpicking, knocking, panning, slamming, flak, a bad press, brickbats, knocks, raps, bad notices
British informal stick, verbal, slagging off, slagging, slating
Australian informal sledge
archaic contumely
rare animadversion, objurgation, excoriation, reprobation, arraignment
2The analysis and judgement 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, examination, appreciation, appraisal, analysis, judgement;
comment, commentary, interpretation, explanation, explication, elucidation, annotation, notation;
opinions, views, observations, pronouncements, remarks, notes
rare scholia
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

Line breaks: criti|cism

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