Definition of critically in US English:



  • 1In a way that expresses disapproval.

    ‘a designer spoke critically of capitalism’
    • ‘On the other hand, it is considered critically in its claim to represent the colonized people.’
    • ‘She flicked on the small lamp next to her and looked critically at her reflection.’
    • ‘There is no evidence that his frequent absences in London were viewed critically within parliamentarian circles.’
    • ‘Some of my remarks here are directed toward conventional scientists, who generally refrain from commenting critically on the wild ideas of a few of their colleagues because it is bad manners.’
    • ‘Looking at each other critically and building their own inadequacies out of competition and indeterminate goals, they rush forward thinking they have somehow grown beyond the mistakes of their youth.’
    • ‘In prior articles and commentaries, you have spoken critically of the management of the museum.’
    • ‘They're not allowed to talk critically about the country.’
    • ‘He returned to this in the next issue commenting critically on the rally in which a number of people were injured.’
    • ‘He has also spoken critically of the former President.’
    • ‘Still, they responded critically on Wednesday to earlier reports of a purchase deal.’
  • 2In a way that expresses or involves an analysis of the merits and faults of a work of literature, music, or art.

    ‘a critically acclaimed novel’
    • ‘He is a best-selling and critically lauded novelist, and even a national celebrity.’
    • ‘Choose films that are critically well-received and are box office successes.’
    • ‘Though critically well-received, his works sold poorly.’
    • ‘He held several critically acclaimed one-man exhibitions in the 1820s.’
    • ‘Many critically acclaimed photographers teach to earn a living.’
    • ‘He recently curated a critically successful show of Jamaican self-taught artists.’
    • ‘In October, one of the most critically acclaimed artists working in Ireland will exhibit her work.’
    • ‘He went on to direct that gallery for 11 years, mounting dozens of critically important exhibitions.’
    • ‘This painting style was critically embraced as representing quintessential French qualities.’
    • ‘The film remains one of the most critically acclaimed modern horror films.’
    1. 2.1 In a way that involves the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.
      ‘the reader must evaluate critically every article he or she reviews’
      • ‘They must also be assisted in developing their ability to critically assess information sources.’
      • ‘Inspect the grain critically.’
      • ‘He permits himself to think and reflect critically about society.’
      • ‘The final project paper critically analyzes the project's successes and failures.’
      • ‘He critically reviewed the range of possibilities.’
      • ‘I learned from him how to critically read a newspaper.’
      • ‘Apart from a few honourable exceptions, the architects never seem to have examined their actions critically.’
      • ‘This discussion format encourages students to think critically about problems in a variety of ways.’
      • ‘Nurses must take the time to critically reflect on their levels of knowledge and skills.’
      • ‘What tools can we use to critically evaluate this material?’
  • 3as submodifier To a potentially disastrous degree.

    ‘the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal’
    • ‘Some breeds of cattle, sheep and pigs are critically low in numbers.’
    • ‘She collapsed on New Year's Day suffering from critically high blood pressure and eclampsia with convulsions.’
    • ‘The recovery of critically imperiled plants and animals is one our nation's most difficult natural resource challenges.’
    • ‘When the hurricane struck, many local businesses were destroyed or critically damaged.’
    • ‘Today, the red wolf is still critically endangered.’
    • ‘Indeed, you can visit critically endangered animals in theme parks all across the country.’
    • ‘Following the horrific loss of life and injury, blood supplies are critically low.’
    • ‘The continued occupation is critically harming the country's security.’
    • ‘Doctors are already in critically short supply and overburdened nurses often supply the only health care available.’
    • ‘We have a very busy unit and are critically understaffed.’
    1. 3.1as submodifier To an extreme degree with a risk of death.
      ‘two critically wounded people died in the hospital’
      ‘critically ill patients who were awaiting surgery’
      • ‘It has been almost three weeks since he was critically hurt in a car crash.’
      • ‘Their mother, Jacqueline, is still critically ill in hospital.’
      • ‘A teenager, who was critically injured, has been flown home to be closer to his family.’
      • ‘The sniper also critically wounded three people, including a 13-year-old boy.’
      • ‘A woman and her son were critically wounded by gunfire.’
      • ‘Unstable, critically ill patients demand physician attention.’
      • ‘Just weeks before competition, she donated bone marrow to her critically ill brother.’
      • ‘When police arrived, they found him critically injured on the ground.’
      • ‘A senior nurse at the hospital said that the man was clearly critically unwell.’
      • ‘A 30 year old man was critically injured in a road crash.’
    2. 3.2 With decisive or crucial importance in the success, failure, or existence of something.
      ‘the livelihood of rural people critically depends on the use of natural resources’
      • ‘Dairy is critically important to agriculture.’
      • ‘Beef farmers' income is critically dependent on beef prices in the autumn of this year.’
      • ‘She is critically involved in overseeing the printing process.’
      • ‘The site is critically needed in order to fulfil housing requirements for the city.’
      • ‘Grassroots development is of course critically needed.’
      • ‘It is critically urgent now that we grow into a new mindset of sustainable management and conservation.’
      • ‘I applaud them for pursuing this critically important health issue.’
      • ‘The body is therefore critically dependent on breathing to maintain life.’
      • ‘Both countries are providing more critically needed helicopters.’
      • ‘The future of both economies critically depends on an ongoing improvement in the capital.’