Definition of crisis in English:



  • 1A time of intense difficulty or danger.

    ‘the current economic crisis’
    mass noun ‘the monarchy was in crisis’
    • ‘At a time when new dangers and crises are proliferating rapidly, this schism could have serious consequences.’
    • ‘The new way of doing things has roots not in politics but in the economic crisis itself.’
    • ‘Niger has been plagued by ecological disaster, economic crises, and political uncertainty.’
    • ‘And if he goes on long enough there is bound to be an economic crisis which will undermine the Chancellor.’
    • ‘The derivatives market doubled in size in the four years after the crisis that exposed its dangers.’
    • ‘Here is a checklist of the flashpoints to watch out for in the current crisis as the months roll by.’
    • ‘It adds to the current budget pressure due to the economic crisis and the mountain of public debt.’
    • ‘Generally the more extreme the economic crisis, the larger the war tends to be.’
    • ‘But the vast majority of humankind does not have such a luxury, and certainly not the hungry victims of wars, natural disasters, and economic crises.’
    • ‘This never rose sufficiently to do more than postpone a new phase of intense economic crisis.’
    • ‘The man has to be ready to deal with an economic crisis which can harm the entire country.’
    • ‘But there is a very realistic danger that a cash crisis could trip them up on the way to the altar.’
    • ‘The alternative is what we now have; an engagement with the world in all of its dangers, crises and threats.’
    • ‘It was a speech devoid of any new proposals and lacking even a hint of comprehension of the intense political, economic and social crises that are racking American society.’
    • ‘Ministers thought he just didn't want to be blamed for the economic crisis that seemed to be enveloping the country.’
    • ‘I also have a good job and salary, which is enough to feed an entire family during the economic crisis.’
    • ‘The polarization crisis is more intense within countries and cities than between them.’
    • ‘This is on top of an economic crisis that cut the value of the lira in half against the dollar.’
    • ‘The economic crisis and poor law enforcement are the two main obstacles in his path.’
    • ‘Further political crises and intense struggles are thereby pre-ordained.’
    catastrophe, calamity, cataclysm, emergency, disaster
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    1. 1.1 A time when a difficult or important decision must be made.
      as modifier ‘the situation has reached crisis point’
      • ‘Windass was close to joining the League Two club at the time when City's situation had reached crisis point.’
      • ‘To Dyck, it is the desire to help people in a crisis situation to the best of your abilities.’
      • ‘The situation at Luton Football Club has now reached crisis proportions.’
      • ‘The environmental situation on Larn Island has reached a crises point, said Banchongsin Parnsorn, head of the working committee of Koh Larn residents.’
      • ‘By 1595, a crisis point had been reached and the so-called Nine Years War was under way.’
      • ‘A popular skate park could be closed down because problems with yobs have reached crisis point.’
      • ‘The decision expresses differences and conflicts that have reached a crisis point.’
      • ‘It is so much better to deal with emotional issues of the past before we reach a crisis.’
      • ‘This reached crisis point when my wife received a shock from the laundry taps.’
      • ‘They concluded that China wouldn't take advantage of the global crisis situation.’
      • ‘The truth is that it was Byrom who rescued the ticketing process from a crisis situation.’
      • ‘The lack of parking policy for residents, workers and visitors is now reaching crisis point.’
      • ‘All of a sudden, Australia are being forced to face up to a crisis situation.’
      • ‘Many small employers and business firms around the country are now in a crisis situation.’
      • ‘The employees of these circuses too will face a crisis situation once the businesses close down.’
      • ‘No one had the nous or the nerve to shout up earlier, before crisis point was reached.’
      • ‘The breach in the Left already opened up by the war in Kosovo reached a crisis.’
      • ‘When presidents make crisis decisions, they do not consult interest groups.’
      • ‘Dr Williams' decision to call the crisis meeting places his authority on the line as never before.’
      • ‘Blackburn Connexions offers advice lines for young people who feel like they may be reaching crisis point.’
      critical point, decisive point, turning point, crossroads, critical period, crux, climax, climacteric, culmination, height, head, moment of truth, zero hour, point of no return, rubicon
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    2. 1.2 The turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either recovery or death.
      • ‘Prior to her current pregnancy, this patient had been admitted 3 times during adolescence for sickle cell crises and had documented retinopathy.’
      • ‘The literature indicates that hypertensive and hyperthermic crises may occur when high doses are given.’
      • ‘The manifestations of hypertensive crises are those of end-organ dysfunction.’
      • ‘A growing number of agents are available for management of hypertensive crises.’
      • ‘Recurrent acute chest syndrome, pain crises, or central nervous system disease indicate eligibility for transplantation’
      • ‘In general, transient aplastic crises are common often requiring supportive care and transfusion.’
      • ‘Dr. Tilden said that diseases were crises of toxemia.’
      • ‘These become quite detailed when discussing such crises as breathing problems, heart attacks, and burns.’
      • ‘Another challenge is dealing with exacerbation or crises in the disease when the antibody titer reaches very high levels.’
      • ‘We can use the experience from these diverse crises to guide us in dealing with mysterious illnesses.’
      • ‘Because the hypotensive effects of nifedipine cannot be closely regulated, this drug should not be used for BP control in patients with hypertensive crises.’
      • ‘Human parvovirus B19 infection is responsible for 80 percent of aplastic crises.’
      • ‘They carry very real risks of hypertensive crises, seizures, strokes, and uterine rupture.’
      • ‘The key to the successful management of patients with severely elevated BP is to differentiate hypertensive crises from hypertensive urgencies.’
      • ‘They are alone, or only with other children, on most of the occasions when a crisis occurs.’
      • ‘This has led to poor coordination and inadequate attention to prevention of crises and complications of chronic illness.’
      • ‘Abrupt withdrawal of exogenous glucocorticoids may precipitate an adrenal crisis.’
      • ‘You might be able to treat your pain crisis at home with medicines that you take by mouth.’
      • ‘Approximately half of the cases of pheochromocytoma manifest characteristic hypertensive crises.’
      • ‘In addition to the severe anemia, aplastic crises also may lead to decreased white cell or platelet counts.’


Late Middle English (denoting the turning point of a disease): medical Latin, from Greek krisis ‘decision’, from krinein ‘decide’. The general sense ‘decisive point’ dates from the early 17th century.