n. pl. cri·te·ri·a (-tîrē-ə) or cri·te·ri·ons
A standard, rule, or test on which a judgment or decision can be based.
[Greek kritērion, from kritēs, judge, from krīnein, to separate, judge; see krei- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
cri·teri·al (-əl) adj.
Usage Note: Like phenomenon, criterion comes directly from Greek and is singular. In standard usage, the plural is generally criteria, although criterions is sometimes used as well. Properly speaking, the form criteria should never be a singular noun, and phrases like this criteria and single criteria are widely viewed as erroneous. Similarly, the plural criterias is also viewed as a mistake and is usually edited out of published prose.
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