Merriam-Webster OnLine Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary


Main Entry: cri·te·ri·on
Pronunciation: krI-'tir-E-&n also kr&-
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural cri·te·ria /-E-& /; also -ri·ons
Etymology: Greek kritErion, from krinein to judge, decide -- more at CERTAIN
Date: 1622
1 : a standard on which a judgment or decision may be based
2 : a characterizing mark or trait
synonym see STANDARD
usage The plural criteria has been used as a singular for over half a century <let me now return to the third criteria -- R. M. Nixon> <that really is the criteria -- Bert Lance>. Many of our examples, like the two foregoing, are taken from speech. But singular criteria is not uncommon in edited prose, and its use both in speech and writing seems to be increasing. Only time will tell whether it will reach the unquestioned acceptability of agenda.

Search here for another word in

Collegiate Dictionary
Collegiate Thesaurus :: Home
Merriam-Webster OnLine
Word of the Day
Word Game of the Day

Pronunciation Key
\&\ as a and u in  abut
\&\ as e in kitten
\&r\ as ur and er in  further
\a\ as a in ash
\A\ as a in ace
\ä\ as o in mop
\au\ as ou in out
\ch\ as ch in chin
\e\ as e in bet
\E\ as ea in easy
\g\ as g in go
\i\ as i in hit
I\ as i in ice
\j\ as j in job
\[ng]\ as ng in sing
\O\ as o in go
\o\ as aw in law
\oi\ as oy in boy
\th\ as th in thin
\th\ as th in the
\ü\ as oo in loot
\u\ as oo in foot
\y\ as y in yet
\zh\ as si in vision
© 2006 by Merriam-Webster, Incorporated