Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word


 - definitions and thesaurus

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adjective critical pronunciation in British English /ˈkrɪtɪk(ə)l/
  1. 1
    expressing an opinion when you think something is wrong or bad

    Her father was a very critical man.

    He gave a highly critical speech.

    critical of:

    People have been critical of the way she has handled the affair.

  2. 2
    very important

    Classroom practice is a critical factor in children’s learning.

    critical to:

    What happens in the next few days is critical to our success.

    of critical importance:

    an issue that is of critical importance to the party

  3. 6
    according to people whose job is to give their opinion of things such as new books, plays, or films

    It wasn’t the critical success they had hoped for.

    critical acclaim (=admiration):

    Her latest show has won much critical acclaim.



… a teaching method in which groups of children learn independently using a computer linked to the internet

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a derogatory word used for referring to people in the banking and investment industry who are thought of as taking serious risks in order to increase their own earnings …

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog