Definition of crucial in US English:

crucial

adjective

  • 1Decisive or critical, especially in the success or failure of something.

    ‘negotiations were at a crucial stage’
    • ‘The decision on where to film was crucial to the success of the dramas.’
    • ‘Bad management and bad cost control will be crucial in deciding success or failure.’
    • ‘We do appear to be at a crucial juncture, to say the least.’
    • ‘Coach Gary Moorby was particularly pleased with this crucial factor in the Cougar victory.’
    • ‘Certainly, Conroy's interventions were crucial to the outcome of the game.’
    • ‘The committee is asking for continued support as we are at a crucial stage in the campaign.’
    • ‘This could mean that wrong decisions are made at crucial moments - and these cannot be reversed.’
    • ‘We have reached a crucial stage and now tenants and residents will begin to see real improvements on their estate.’
    • ‘His error was made at a crucial stage in the match but he couldn't deny the funny side.’
    • ‘A crucial factor in the rise was the growing number of women who smoke.’
    • ‘Ambitious plans to complete a town centre pedestrianisation zone have reached a crucial stage.’
    • ‘I see the next 18 months as crucial to the long-term development of the game.’
    • ‘Ultimately, these incidents probably did not prove crucial to the outcome.’
    • ‘The chemistry so crucial to the success of any screen romance is absent.’
    • ‘A near doubling of the share values would be a crucial factor in any decision that is made.’
    • ‘His appointment comes at a crucial stage in this long-running drugs war.’
    • ‘There are no elements more important than others, but timing is crucial.’
    • ‘Williams now faces a crucial decision as to which direction he takes his career.’
    • ‘Watson believes conceding a goal so early on Tuesday was crucial to the outcome.’
    • ‘God knew all logic flew out the window that crucial moment.’
    pivotal, critical, key, climacteric, decisive, deciding, determining, settling, testing, trying, searching
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Of great importance.
      ‘this game is crucial to our survival’
      • ‘Once he understands that crucial difference, he should get off to a good start.’
      • ‘If you want to lose weight, it is crucial to maintain low insulin levels.’
      • ‘Strategies for effective communication and involvement are crucial at this stage.’
      • ‘All low-carb foods are not created equal, and it's crucial to understand the differences.’
      • ‘Insight, understanding and enjoyment are the keys to making newspapers crucial.’
      • ‘Everyone was aware that those games weren't crucial, and it was just the group stage.’
      • ‘Only 15 percent mentioned domestic policies as being most crucial to them.’
      • ‘It is crucial to keep your head covered when running outside in winter.’
      • ‘For, low as this may seem, the most crucial industries had been successfully moved.’
      • ‘Improved road links are crucial to developments in Pembroke Dock and the Angle peninsula.’
      • ‘Finding species that are unknown to science is crucial to their continued survival, he says.’
      • ‘Solidarity through donations is crucial to ensure the strike does not fail through lack of money.’
      • ‘Since variation was the essence of evolution, it was crucial to understand its nature.’
      • ‘All the time, it is crucial to remember that we are never alone.’
      • ‘Sesame is great for iron, a crucial mineral for maintaining vital energy levels.’
      • ‘He was singled out by the judge for stinging criticism, and accused of removing crucial evidence.’
      • ‘Monitoring blood lipids is crucial to ensure that the diet is having the desired effect.’
      • ‘I make no apologies for this because it is absolutely crucial to the future economic success of the nation.’
      • ‘Participation by trustees is crucial to their understanding of the issues before the board.’
      • ‘One crucial element of the luxury shopping experience is the service and setting.’
      very important, of the utmost importance, of great consequence, of the essence, critical, high-priority, pre-eminent, paramount, all-important, essential, vital, vitally important, indispensable, mandatory, urgent, pressing, compelling, necessary, needed, required, requisite
      View synonyms

Usage

Crucial is used in formal contexts to mean ‘decisive, critical’: the testimony of the only eyewitness was crucial to the case. Its broader use to mean ‘very important’ should be restricted to informal contexts: it is crucial to get good light for your photographs

Origin

Early 18th century (in the sense ‘cross-shaped’): from French, from Latin crux, cruc- ‘cross’. The sense ‘decisive’ is from Francis Bacon's Latin phrase instantia crucis ‘crucial instance’, which he explained as a metaphor from a crux or fingerpost marking a fork at a crossroad; Newton and Boyle took up the metaphor in experimentum crucis ‘crucial experiment’.

Pronunciation

crucial

/ˈkruʃəl//ˈkro͞oSHəl/