Definition of crucial adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//ˈkruːʃl//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈkruːʃl//
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extremely important, because it will affect other things synonym critical, essential a crucial factor/issue/decision topics of crucial importance The next few weeks are going to be crucial. crucial to/for something Winning this contract is crucial to the success of the company. crucial that… It is crucial that we get this right. Parents play a crucial role in preparing their child for school. He wasn't there at the crucial moment (= when he was needed most). Synonymsessentialvital crucial critical decisive indispensableThese words all describe somebody/​something that is extremely important and completely necessary because a particular situation or activity depends on them.essential extremely important and completely necessary, because without it something cannot exist, be made or be successful:Experience is essential for this job.vital essential:The police play a vital role in our society.essential or vital?These words have the same meaning but there can be a slight difference in tone. Essential is used to state a fact or opinion with authority. Vital is often used when there is some anxiety felt about something, or a need to persuade somebody that a fact or opinion is true, right or important. Vital is less often used in negative statements:It was vital to show that he was not afraid. Money is not vital to happiness.crucial extremely important because a particular situation or activity depends on it:It is crucial that we get this right.critical extremely important because a particular situation or activity depends on it:Your decision is critical to our future.crucial or critical?These words have the same meaning but there can be a slight difference in context. Critical is often used in technical matters of business or science; crucial is often used to talk about matters that may cause anxiety or other emotions.decisive of the greatest importance in affecting the final result of a particular situation:She has played a decisive role in the peace negotiations.indispensable essential; too important to be without:Cars have become an indispensable part of our lives.Patterns essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical/​decisive/​indispensable for something essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical/​indispensable to something essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical that… essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical to do something a(n) essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical/​decisive/​indispensable part/​factor of vital/​crucial/​critical/​decisive importance absolutely essential/​vital/​crucial/​critical/​decisive/​indispensable Language BankemphasisHighlighting an important point This case emphasizes/highlights the importance of honest communication between managers and employees. Effective communication skills are essential/crucial/vital. It should be noted that this study considers only verbal communication. Non-verbal communication is not dealt with here. It is important to remember that/An important point to remember is that non-verbal communication plays a key role in getting your message across. Communication is not only about the words you use but also your body language and, especially/above all, the effectiveness with which you listen. I would like to draw attention to the role of listening in effective communication. Choose your words carefully: in particular, avoid confusing and ambiguous language. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, you must learn to listen as well as to speak. Language BankvitalSaying that something is necessary It is vital that journalists can verify the accuracy of their reports. Journalists play a vital/crucial role in educating the public. Public trust is a crucial issue for all news organizations. The ability to write well is essential for any journalist. The Internet has become an indispensable tool for reporters. In journalism, accuracy is paramount/…is of paramount importance. It is imperative that journalists maintain the highest possible standards of reporting. Word Originearly 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’.Extra examples Secrecy is crucial to this police operation. The talks are crucial for the success of the plan. A crucial factor affecting educational performance is the competence of the teacher. Getting these procedures right is of crucial importance. He wasn’t there at the crucial moment. It is crucial that we get this right. Winning this contract is absolutely crucial to our long term success.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: crucial