In the dictionary, the word "critical" has two relevant meanings: to criticize or to examine and judge it carefully. My question is which meaning is critical used with in the phrase "critical attitude"?

For example, does

The author holds a critical attitude towards the proposal

mean that the author is thinking about the proposal fairly and carefully judging it or just criticizing it?

3 Answers 3


It means that he disagrees with it, that he has a negative, unfavourable opinion about the matter, and most probably has a few arguments against it up his sleeve.

Critical attitude is a negative attitude, but the negativity could have different degrees. This expression is mild, one could make it stronger, but it depends on the intention of the author of this sentence.


This is critical in the first sense, that is, disapproving.


"holds a critical attitude" can be interpreted here as a euphemism. The underlying meaning is that the author does not like the proposal.

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