involving an extremely important decision or result; decisive; critical: a crucial experiment.
severe; trying.
of the form of a cross; cross-shaped.

1700–10; < Latin cruci- (stem of crux) cross + -al1

cruciality [kroo-shee-al-i-tee, kroo-shal-] , noun
crucially, adverb
noncrucial, adjective
noncrucially, adverb
precrucial, adjective

1. momentous, vital, essential, significant. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
crucial (ˈkruːʃəl)
1.  involving a final or supremely important decision or event; decisive; critical
2.  informal very important
3.  slang very good
[C18: from French, from Latin cruxcross]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1706, from Fr. crucial, a medical term for ligaments of the knee (which cross each other), from L. crux (gen. crucis) "cross." The meaning "decisive, critical" is extended from a logical term, Instantias Crucis, adopted by Francis Bacon (1620); the notion is of cross fingerboard signposts at forking
roads, thus a requirement to choose.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Studies show that coaches often make poor choices in crucial situations.
To start with, they are crucial to the finances of cash-strapped universities.
Information, crucial to efficient trading, is scanty.
Another crucial factor may be the existence of large fund-management firms,
  whose portfolios are diversified across the globe.
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