Definition of criterion in English:



  • A principle or standard by which something may be judged or decided.

    ‘the launch came too close to violating safety criteria’
    • ‘One of the main criteria the youth must meet for the camp is to have a business plan or idea.’
    • ‘There are certain criteria which groups must meet to apply for the grants to be eligible.’
    • ‘Only then can we reach the standardised criterion of economic growth and prosperity.’
    • ‘That is the criterion or standard by which the arbitrator is to be guided.’
    • ‘Clearly the rules and the criteria by which the licensing panel are working are deeply flawed.’
    • ‘The country needs not just guidelines on care but criteria that are set solidly.’
    • ‘The problem is there are no clear guidelines as to what the criteria should be.’
    • ‘Performance is the only criterion by which a team chasing greatness can judge itself.’
    • ‘Judged on those criteria, the tour is undoubtedly a flop of monumental proportions.’
    • ‘These contractors will be required to meet criteria to be eligible for a permit.’
    • ‘This is one of the principles stated in the criteria for excellence in assessment.’
    • ‘There will also be a review of all existing holders to make sure they meet the new criteria.’
    • ‘They were selected to take part on the basis of criteria laid down by the Education Department.’
    • ‘The one criteria is that they must be active, whether in sport or other types of health and fitness.’
    • ‘It eludes me as to how the various blogs will be judged and under what criteria.’
    • ‘In addition, sites are selected as suitable only if they meet demanding criteria.’
    • ‘Unless you decide that for some reason it is better to judge by other criteria.’
    • ‘He says that, in any case, there is little new in broadening the criteria for selection.’
    • ‘In some circumstances it is difficult to make economic criteria apply even in principle.’
    • ‘They join by invitation only and must meet certain criteria before they will be admitted.’
    basis, point of reference, standard, norm, yardstick, benchmark, touchstone, test, formula, measure, gauge, scale, barometer, indicator, litmus test
    specification, guide, guideline, guiding principle, principle, rule, law, canon, convention
    View synonyms


Strictly speaking, the singular form (following the original Greek) is criterion and the plural form is criteria. It is a common mistake, however, to use criteria as if it were a singular, as in a further criteria needs to be considered


Early 17th century: from Greek kritērion means of judging from kritēs (see critic).