Definition of crisis in English:



  • 1A time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.

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


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.