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[krit-ik] /ˈkrɪt ɪk/
a person who judges, evaluates, or criticizes:
a poor critic of men.
a person who judges, evaluates, or analyzes literary or artistic works, dramatic or musical performances, or the like, especially for a newspaper or magazine.
a person who tends too readily to make captious, trivial, or harsh judgments; faultfinder.
  1. criticism.
  2. critique.
Origin of critic
1575-85; < Latin criticus < Greek kritikós skilled in judging (adj.), critic (noun), equivalent to krī́t(ēs) judge, umpire (krī́(nein) to separate, decide + -tēs agent suffix) + -ikos -ic
Related forms
supercritic, noun
Can be confused
critic, criticism, critique.
2. reviewer, judge. 3. censurer, carper. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for critic
  • From the deluge of art, a critic chooses some standouts.
  • It is not every day that a literary and cultural critic is immortalized in popular fiction, even a story set in academe.
  • Neither critic doubts that inequality rose and that poorer people gained access to more credit.
  • No one, no even the fiercest critic of modernity, takes offense at them.
  • There seems to be some serious misunderstanding about what an art critic does.
  • It's so easy to be the critic when you have no idea how to be actually do the thing you are criticizing.
  • The difference between me and you, pal, is the difference between the artist and the critic.
  • It's easy to be a critic but not so easy to actually use your brain to think creatively.
  • Yet he's always told me never, ever, to do what he's done-be both an artist and an art critic.
  • Probing satire and whimsical musings by a leading cultural critic, with valuable insights into the city's pop culture.
British Dictionary definitions for critic


a person who judges something
a professional judge of art, music, literature, etc
a person who often finds fault and criticizes
Word Origin
C16: from Latin criticus, from Greek kritikos capable of judging, from kritēs judge; see criterion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for critic

1580s, "one who passes judgment," from Middle French critique (14c.), from Latin criticus "a judge, literary critic," from Greek kritikos "able to make judgments," from krinein "to separate, decide" (see crisis). Meaning "one who judges merits of books, plays, etc." is from c.1600. The English word always had overtones of "censurer, faultfinder."

To understand how the artist felt, however, is not criticism; criticism is an investigation of what the work is good for. ... Criticism ... is a serious and public function; it shows the race assimilating the individual, dividing the immortal from the mortal part of a soul. [George Santayana, "The Life of Reason," 1906]

A perfect judge will read each work of wit
With the same spirit that its author writ;
[Pope, "An Essay on Criticism," 1709]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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