Criteria – standards by which to judge something
Criteria are the standards by which someone or something is judged.
To remember the definition of the word criteria, use the following mnemonic:
She cried tears (criteria) because she couldn't reach her hat on the giant hat stand (standards).
Examples of criteria in a sentence
Talent is nowhere near the top of the list of criteria needed to become a pop star.
Products that meet certain environmental criteria may be awarded a green label.
The criteria for a great cup of tea are that it should be not too weak or strong, and not contain too much milk.
Strictly speaking, criteria is the plural form of the word, and criterion (cry-teer-ee-on) the singular. However, criteria is often used where only one standard or requirement is mentioned, for instance: "A great imagination is the criteria for a good writer". This could eventually become the norm.