Definition of crisis in English:



  • 1A time of intense difficulty or danger.

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


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.