Daily Archives: October 23, 2008

Musings on….. The Word ‘Crisis’



A crisis (plural: crises) may occur on a personal or societal level. It may be a traumatic or stressful change in a person’s life, or an unstable and dangerous social situation, in political, social, economic, military affairs, or a large-scale environmental event, especially one involving an impending abrupt change. More loosely, it is a term meaning ‘a testing time’ or ’emergency event’.

From Dictionary.com

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) –

1. a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, esp. for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.
2. a condition of instability or danger, as in social, economic, political, or international affairs, leading to a decisive change.
3. a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life.
4. Medicine/Medical.

a. the point in the course of a serious disease at which a decisive change occurs, leading either to recovery or to death.
b. the change itself.
5. the point in a play or story at which hostile elements are most tensely opposed to each other.


6. of, referring to, or for use in dealing with a crisis.


[Origin: 1375-1425; late ME < L < Gk krísis decision, equiv. to kri- var. s. of krnein to decide, separate, judge + -sis -sis]

-Related forms

crisic, adjective

Synonyms 1. See emergency.

American Heritage Dictionary

(krī’sĭs) Pronunciation Key
n. pl. cri·ses (-sēz)
A crucial or decisive point or situation; a turning point.

An unstable condition, as in political, social, or economic affairs, involving an impending abrupt or decisive change.
A sudden change in the course of a disease or fever, toward either improvement or deterioration.

An emotionally stressful event or traumatic change in a person’s life.

A point in a story or drama when a conflict reaches its highest tension and must be resolved.
[Middle English, from Latin, judgment, from Greek krisis, from krīnein, to separate, judge; see krei- in Indo-European roots.]

Synonyms: These nouns denote a critical point or state of affairs: a military crisis; government policy at the crossroad; had predicted the health-care exigency; a problem that is coming to a head; negotiations that had reached a crucial juncture; things rapidly coming to a desperate pass.


The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
Copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

Online Etymology Dictionary

c.1425, from Gk. krisis “turning point in a disease” (used as such by Hippocrates and Galen), lit. “judgment,” from krinein “to separate, decide, judge,” from PIE base *krei- “to sieve, discriminate, distinguish” (cf. Gk. krinesthai “to explain;” O.E. hriddel “sieve;” L. cribrum “sieve,” crimen “judgment, crime,” cernere (pp. cretus) “to sift, separate;” O.Ir. criathar, O.Welsh cruitr “sieve;” M.Ir. crich “border, boundary”). Transferred non-medical sense is 1627. A Ger. term for “mid-life crisis” is Torschlusspanik, lit. “shut-door-panic,” fear of being on the wrong side of a closing gate.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

The New Testament Greek Lexicon 

Strong’s Number: 2920

Original Word/Word Origin


perhaps a primitive word
Transliterated Word
Phonetic Spelling


Parts of Speech

Noun Feminine


a separating, sundering, separation

a trial, contest


opinion or decision given concerning anything

esp. concerning justice and injustice, right or wrong
sentence of condemnation, damnatory judgment, condemnation and punishment
the college of judges (a tribunal of seven men in the several cities of Palestine; as distinguished from the Sanhedrin, which had its seat at Jerusalem)

right, justice
Translated Words

KJV (48) – accusation, 2; condemnation, 2; damnation, 3; judgment, 41;

NAS (47) – court, 2; judgment, 38; judgments, 2; justice, 4; sentence, 1;


According to these definitions, are we, as Americans, in a crisis situation?

Have you had any ‘crisis’ situations in your life?

How were they ‘crisis’?

How did you handle it? Was God in the forefront of your ‘crisis’?

If you depended on God during your crisis, was it really a crisis?