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oxford dictionary online critical thinking

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Definition of critical thinking noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

critical thinking

  • The school encourages critical thinking and problem-solving.
  • The book shows you how to apply critical thinking to your studies.
  • Critical thinking skills enable students to evaluate information.

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critical thinking noun

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What does the noun critical thinking mean?

There is one meaning in OED's entry for the noun critical thinking . See ‘Meaning & use’ for definition, usage, and quotation evidence.

How common is the noun critical thinking ?

Where does the noun critical thinking come from.

Earliest known use

The earliest known use of the noun critical thinking is in the 1810s.

OED's earliest evidence for critical thinking is from 1815, in Critical Review .

critical thinking is formed within English, by compounding.

Etymons: critical adj. , thinking n.

Nearby entries

  • critical potential, n. 1916–
  • critical pressure, n. 1878–
  • critical race theory, n. 1989–
  • critical rationalism, n. 1945–
  • critical region, n. 1933–
  • critical size, n. 1940–
  • critical state, n. 1871–
  • critical temperature, n. 1870–
  • critical theorist, n. 1753–
  • critical theory, n. 1799–
  • critical thinking, n. 1815–
  • critical volume, n. 1878–
  • criticaster, n. 1669–
  • criticasterism, n. 1805–
  • criticastry, n. 1887–
  • criticiasis, n. 1874
  • criticism, n. 1606–
  • criticist, n. & adj. 1838–
  • criticizable, adj. 1751–
  • criticize, v. 1621–
  • criticizer, n. a1680–

Meaning & use

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Entry history for critical thinking, n.

Originally published as part of the entry for critical, adj. & n.

critical thinking, n. was first published in June 2018 is a living text, updated every three months. Modifications may include:

  • further revisions to definitions, pronunciation, etymology, headwords, variant spellings, quotations, and dates;
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Citation details

Factsheet for critical thinking, n., browse entry.

Cambridge Dictionary

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Meaning of critical thinking in English

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  • adjudication
  • have the measure of someone/something idiom
  • interpretable
  • interpretive
  • reinspection
  • reinterpret
  • reinterpretation
  • reinvestigate
  • reinvestigation
  • the acid test

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Examples of critical thinking

Translations of critical thinking.

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A Dictionary of Critical Theory

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A Dictionary of Critical Theory (1 ed.)  

Ian buchanan.

This is the most wide-ranging and up-to-date dictionary of critical theory available, covering the whole range of critical theory, including the Frankfurt school, cultural materialism, gender studies, literary theory, hermeneutics, historical materialism, and sociopolitical critical theory. Entries clearly explain even the most complex of theoretical discourses, such as Marxism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, deconstruction, and postmodernism. There are also biographies of important figures in the field, with feature entries for those who have heavily influenced areas of the discipline.

Covering all aspects of the subject from globalization and race studies, to queer theory and feminism, this multidisciplinary A-Z is essential for students of literary and cultural studies and is useful for anyone studying a humanity subject requiring a knowledge of theory.

Bibliographic Information

Affiliations are at time of print publication..

Ian Buchanan is Director of the Institute for Social Transformation Research at the University of Wollongong. He has authored or edited over a dozen books as well as special issues of journals, as well as founding the journal Deleuze Studies .

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Absent cause, abstractionism, active and reactive, actor-network theory, actual and virtual, adorno, theodor, affective fallacy, agamben, giorgio, alienation-effect, alternate modernity, front matter, publishing information, general links for this work, introduction.

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date: 05 November 2023

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  • critical thinking

disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence: The questions are intended to develop your critical thinking.

Origin of critical thinking

Words nearby critical thinking.

  • critical race theory
  • critical ratio
  • critical region
  • critical state
  • critical temperature
  • critical value
  • critical volume
  • criticaster Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use critical thinking in a sentence

Being a pilot requires a particular reliance on critical thinking , preparing for a variety of situations and keeping calm and mission-focused, all of which are incredible skills to bring into a new business.

For one, our education system can equip people with critical thinking skills, media literacy and an understanding of the forces at work when people make truth judgments.

They need to be well-prepared and informed and capable of critical thinking .

It’s not possible to entirely shut out what they’re saying, but it’s best to do your own critical thinking .

What I worry about is that people aren’t learning critical thinking skills.

In court, labelers could argue that they were just trying to give students choices, while encouraging critical thinking .

For those in the movement, this means cultivating an attachment to Israel while fostering critical thinking .

A little debate and critical thinking are good for everyone.

But his timid foray into critical thinking brings swift and severe punishment.

The shift is most evident in our schools, where critical thinking has replaced rote learning as the central goal of education.

Ordinary propaganda, for instance, is quite ineffective on people trained in critical thinking .

So far as we conduct each of these processes in the light of the other, we get valid discovery or verified critical thinking .

oxford dictionary online critical thinking

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What is Critical Thinking?

7 steps to critical thinking, books in the collection.

  • Synthesizing Information
  • Entering the Conversation
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The Oxford English Dictionary defines critical thinking as "the objective, systematic, and rational analysis and evaluation of factual evidence in order to form a judgement on a subject, issue, etc."

Put simply, critical thinking is the ability to recognize and examine information to understand the evidence, arguments, and perspectives present in that information. Critical thinking means seeking answers and asking questions.

  • TED-Ed Can You Solve This Riddle? (playlist) Try out some of the classic riddles in this playlist from TED Ed. Each video established the riddle with narration and animation. Use your critical thinking skills to solve the riddles!

The following seven steps, developed by Kraus et al., are meant to illustrate the process of critical thinking. While true critical thinking may not follow these steps as written, they can serve as a guide or framework for individuals working on improving their critical thinking skills.

  • What am I being asked to believe or accept?
  • What evidence is available to support the claim?
  • What alternative ways are there to interpret the evidence?
  • Rate the evidence/alternatives on 0-10 scale based on validity/strength.
  • What assumptions or biases came up when doing the above steps? (e.g., using intuition/emotion, authority, or personal experience rather than science)
  • What additional evidence would help us evaluate the alternatives?
  • What conclusions are most reasonable or likely?

Kraus, S., Sears, S. R., & Burke, B. L. (2013). Is truthiness enough? Classroom activities for encouraging evidence-based critical thinking. The Journal of Effective Teaching, 13 (2), 83-93.

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Example sentences critical thinking

Definition of 'critical' critical.

IPA Pronunciation Guide

Definition of 'thinking' thinking

Cobuild collocations critical thinking, browse alphabetically critical thinking.

  • critical temperature
  • critical theory
  • critical thinker
  • critical thinking
  • critical value
  • critical volume
  • critical writing
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critical thinking

Definition of critical thinking

Examples of critical thinking in a sentence.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'critical thinking.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Dictionary Entries Near critical thinking

critical temperature

critical value

Cite this Entry

“Critical thinking.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Nov. 2023.

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  2. When Do We Use Critical Thinking in Everyday Life?

    When an individual can determine whether a problem is under control or beyond his control and can recognize his limitations regarding money, time and power, then he is using critical thinking in everyday life.

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  12. What is the critical thinking Oxford dictionary?

    Only meaning I have given. critical thinking noun /ˌkrɪtɪkl ˈθɪŋkɪŋ/ /ˌkrɪtɪkl ˈθɪŋkɪŋ/[uncountable] 1. ​the process of analysing information in order to

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