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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.
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 critics
  • But critics and boosters alike say unmanned aircraft will increasingly be used for peacetime work.
  • The project's critics complained that taxpayer money was being wasted on decoration.
  • He was not without his critics, however, for his manipulation of subjects and images.
  • Because of his close ties with the commercial world, some art critics would describe his work as kitsch.
  • By contrast, his critics seem to have their heads in the clouds.
  • As for the conventions, the critics complained that both candidates displayed little savvy about the potential of the medium.
  • The critics, it seemed, had claimed the moral high ground.
  • But critics could not dampen the spirits of radio fanatics.
  • critics of such arguments have pointed out that these problems are not necessarily unique to primates.
  • The movie was widely panned by critics and seems to have quickly slipped out of theaters.
British Dictionary definitions for critics


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 critics



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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