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[suhb-krit-i-kuh l] /sʌbˈkrɪt ɪ kəl/
Physics. pertaining to a state, value, or quantity that is less than critical, especially to a mass of radioactive material.
being of less than critical importance.
Origin of subcritical
1940-45; sub- + critical Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for subcritical
  • But so-called subcritical tests are allowed by the test-ban treaty, and that may add confidence to the process.
  • Also, imagine that the flow is steady and subcritical but nonuniform.
  • subcritical flow is sometimes referred to as tranquil flow and is characterized by low velocities and large depths.
  • These subcritical plants will provide high efficiency in base load operation without excessive efficiency loss in cycling oper.
  • Calculate normal flow conditions approaching the drop to verify subcritical conditions.
  • For subcritical flow, the division of flow depends on the stages in each of the receiving channels.
  • These limits could be based on the infinite media subcritical values evaluated in the appendixes.
  • Measured conditions included subcritical liquid and vapor as well as supercritical phases.
British Dictionary definitions for subcritical


(physics) (of a nuclear reaction, power station, etc) having or involving a chain reaction that is not self-sustaining; not yet critical
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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