Criticism is the practice of judging the merits and faults of something or someone in a sometimes negative, sometimes intelligible, (or articulate) way.
The judger is called "the critic".
To engage in criticism is "to criticize".
One specific item of criticism is called "a criticism" or a "critique".
This article provides only general information about criticism. For subject-specific information, see the Varieties of criticism page.
Criticism can be:
directed toward a person or an animal; at a group, authority or organization; at a specific behaviour; or at an object of some kind (an idea, a relationship, a condition, a process, or a thing).
personal (delivered directly from one person to another, in a personal capacity), or impersonal (expressing the view of an organization, and not aimed at anyone personally).
highly specific and detailed, or very abstract and general.
verbal (expressed in language) or non-verbal (expressed symbolically, or expressed through an action or a way of behaving).
explicit (the criticism is clearly stated) or implicit (a criticism is implied by what is being said, but it is not stated openly).
the result of critical thinking or spontaneous impulse.