Crucial Definition

Of supreme importance; decisive; critical.
A crucial decision.
Webster's New World
Extremely significant or important.
American Heritage
Vital to the resolution of a crisis or the determination of an outcome.
A crucial moment in the political campaign.
American Heritage
Having the form of a cross.
A crucial incision.
Webster's New World

Being essential or decisive for determining the outcome or future of something; extremely important.

The battle of Tali-Ihantala in 1944 is one of the crucial moments in the history of Finland.
A secure supply of crude oil is crucial for any modern nation, let alone a superpower.

Origin of Crucial

  • The meaning “decisive, critical” is extended from a logical term, Instantias Crucis, adopted by Francis Bacon in his influential Novum Organum (1620); the notion is of cross fingerboard signposts at forking roads, thus a requirement to choose. Specific quote is:

    From Wiktionary

  • From New Latin (īnstantia) crucis, (experīmentum) crucis crossroads (case), crossroads (experiment) from Latin crux cruc- cross Sense 2, French from Old French from Latin crux

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 1706, from French crucial, a medical term for ligaments of the knee (which cross each other), from Latin crux, crucis (“cross”) (English crux), from the Proto-Indo-European *(s)ker- (“to turn, to bend”).

    From Wiktionary

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