The word crucial describes something that is important or essential to success, like the crucial dress rehearsals that ensure everything will run smoothly on your play's opening night.
Usage experts insist that the word crucial should be used only to describe something that is truly critical for solving a problem or for resolving a situation, such as a crucial vote that determines a final outcome. In this case the crucial vote is decisive: it determines the outcome. But the word has gained popularity as a way to say that something is important. You might hear someone say, for example, that it is crucial to allow employees to vote on the new schedule to make them feel like they’re part of the process. In this case the sense is “important”: nothing decisive is taking place.
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