Pronunciation: (krit'u-siz"um), [key]
1. the act of passing judgment as to the merits of anything.
2. the act of passing severe judgment; censure; faultfinding.
3. the act or art of analyzing and evaluating or judging the quality of a literary or artistic work, musical performance, art exhibit, dramatic production, etc.
4. a critical comment, article, or essay; critique.
5. any of various methods of studying texts or documents for the purpose of dating or reconstructing them, evaluating their authenticity, analyzing their content or style, etc.: historical criticism; literary criticism.
6. investigation of the text, origin, etc., of literary documents, esp. Biblical ones: textual criticism.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.