I think

  • we can use 'critical' when say about something which is very low.(negative)

    critical battery => very low battery

  • we can also use when to say about something which is significant and huge(positive)

    critical attack => significant and very strong attack

Then how to use critical properly?

e.g: critical progress => does it mean good or bad?

1 Answer 1


No, critical is not used correctly here. (In your examples it is used, not in the sense of disapproving, but in the sense of essential to.)

When we describe an object as critical, we mean that it is of vital importance to the functioning or success of something, not that it is low or high.

If a battery is critical, it means that without the battery, something won't work. A battery is critical to the operation of a torch light. The battery can be critically low, meaning that the torch light may fail at any moment.

If an attack it critical, it means that the outcome of the battle depends on the success of the attack. If the attack fails, the battle will be lost. It does not mean that the attack is strong, just that it is very important to the success of the campaign.

And if a person's condition is critical, it means that the person is hovering on the point of death.

Critical progress is progress on which something depends. If miners have been trapped in a rockfall, their lives depend on rescue efforts succeeding in time. The progress with the rescue efforts is critical to the success of the rescue mission.

Critical has nothing to do with good or bad, just with the great importance of whatever is being described. Your success in an exam may be critical to your future prospects. That's to say that unless you do well, important opportunities may be denied to you.

See the examples in the link below where critical means important rather than not pleased. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/critical

  • Yeah, as you say, "critical battery" has a different meaning +1.
    – user17814
    Nov 30, 2019 at 15:41

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .