criterion

[krahy-teer-ee-uh n] /kraɪˈtɪər i ən/
noun, plural criteria
[krahy-teer-ee-uh] /kraɪˈtɪər i ə/ (Show IPA),
criterions.
1.
a standard of judgment or criticism; a rule or principle for evaluating or testing something.
Origin
1605–15; < Greek kritḗrion a standard, equivalent to kri- variant stem of krī́nein to separate, decide + -tērion neuter suffix of means (akin to Latin -tōrium -tory2)
Related forms
criterial, adjective
Can be confused
criteria, criterion (see usage note at the current entry)
Synonyms
measure, touchstone, yardstick. See standard.
Usage note
Like some other nouns borrowed from the Greek, criterion has both a Greek plural, criteria, and a plural formed on the English pattern, criterions. The plural in -a occurs with far greater frequency than does the -s plural: These are the criteria for the selection of candidates. Although criteria is sometimes used as a singular, most often in speech and only infrequently in edited prose, in standard English, it is more clearly used as a plural with criterion as the singular.
British Dictionary definitions for criterial
criterion (kraɪˈtɪərɪən)
 
n , pl -ria, -rions
1.  a standard by which something can be judged or decided
2.  philosophy a defining characteristic of something
 
usage  Criteria, the plural of criterion, is not acceptable as a singular noun: this criterion is not valid; these criteria are not valid

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin and History for criterial
criterion
1660s, from Gk. kriterion "means for judging, standard," from krites "judge."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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