Merriam-Webster Word of the Day: Critique

The Merriam-Webster Word of the Day is critique. Read on for what it means, how it’s used, and more.

What It Means

critique is a careful judgment in which you give your opinion about the good and bad parts of something, such as a piece of writing or a work of art.

// Although I disagreed with them, the reviewer gave a fair and honest critique of the film.

CRITIQUE in Context

“Georgia, Gabriella, and Yannik still hadn’t gotten a critique from the judges at this point, and while no news can be considered good news (they’d advanced safely through so far), it also meant they’d gotten no feedback that could guide them in the right directions. What do the judges like about their work? What should they lean into? More importantly, what should they lean away from?” — Daniel Montgomery, Gold Derby, 26 Aug. 2022

Did You Know?

What’s the difference between criticism and critique? There’s some overlap in meaning, but they’re not the same in every situation. Criticism is most often used broadly to refer to the act of negatively criticizing someone or something (“I’m more interested in encouragement right now than criticism”) or a remark or comment that expresses disapproval (“She shared a minor criticism about the design”), while critique is a more formal word for a carefully expressed judgment, opinion, or evaluation of both the good and bad qualities of something—for example, books or movies. Thus, a critic can write a critique that may be full of criticism.

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