Skip to main content
Select Source:

crucial

cru·cial / ˈkroōshəl/ • adj. decisive or critical, esp. in the success or failure of something: negotiations were at a crucial stage. ∎  of great importance: this game is crucial to our survival. DERIVATIVES: cru·ci·al·i·ty / ˌkroōshēˈalitē/ n. cru·cial·ly adv. ORIGIN: early 18th cent. (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.’

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crucial." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"crucial." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crucial-0

"crucial." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved February 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crucial-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

crucial

crucial cross-shaped XVIII; that decides between rival hypotheses, decisive XIX. — F., f. L. crux, cruc- CROSS 1; see -IAL.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crucial." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"crucial." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crucial-1

"crucial." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved February 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crucial-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

crucial

crucialcircumstantial, financial, substantial •court-martial, impartial, marshal, martial, partial •especial, special •cadential, confidential, consequential, credential, deferential, differential, essential, evidential, existential, experiential, exponential, influential, intelligential, irreverential, jurisprudential, penitential, pestilential, potential, preferential, presidential, providential, prudential, quintessential, referential, residential, reverential, sapiential, sciential, sentential, sequential, tangential, torrential •abbatial, facial, fascial, glacial, interracial, multiracial, palatial, primatial, racial, spatial •artificial, beneficial, initial, interstitial, judicial, official, sacrificial, solstitial, superficial •provincial • seneschal • equinoctial •asocial, precocial, psychosocial, social •crucial, fiducial •bushel •antenuptial, nuptial •commercial, controversial, Herschel, inertial, infomercial

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"crucial." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Feb. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"crucial." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (February 20, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crucial

"crucial." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved February 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/crucial

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.