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ah020387's avatar

What does Criteria mean in this sentence?

Asked by ah020387 (49points) November 21st, 2010

What does ‘criteria’ mean in the following sentence: Cyclone is a weather system that fits all the criteria for a hurricane

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7 Answers

jazzjeppe's avatar

Basically means that it might as well be called a hurricane? I guess?

jaytkay's avatar

Hi, @ah020387. Welcome to Fluther!

Criteria is the plural of criterion.

Criterion: a characterizing mark or trait

So in that sentence, it means cyclones are hurricanes. They have all the traits of hurricanes.

Jeruba's avatar

This would mean that there are several defining characteristics of a hurricane—tests or questions that determine if it’s a real hurricane. Those characteristics are criteria. (One of them is a criterion.) The sentence says that a cyclone meets those tests, and the implication is that it can therefore be called a hurricane.

laureth's avatar

If you made a checklist of all the things that a hurricane needs to be a hurricane, and then looked at the qualities of a cyclone and checked them off on that list, all the little ticky boxes would be duly ticked.

Seelix's avatar

My first thought when I read your sentence was “requirements”.

lillycoyote's avatar

Not to get all pedantic here, or off the subject of what “criteria” means, and I don’t want to confuse things but, where did this sentence come from? I ask because I think it’s misleading, if not actually pretty much wrong; it’s really the kind of the other way around in terms of what defines a cyclone v.s. a hurricane; what the criteria are for defining a hurricane as opposed to some other type of cyclone .

A cyclone is the overarching term for a particular kind of storm; hurricane is the term used for a particular kind cyclone, for a particular kind of tropical cyclone, as a matter of fact ... the term hurricane “is used for Northern Hemisphere tropical cyclones east of the International Dateline to the Greenwich Meridian.”

The above quote comes from the glossary provided by the National Hurricane Center

More than you wanted to know, I imagine, but if that sentence came from a text book or a published article, or from anywhere, really, it bothers me that it’s innacurate; at least according to my knowledge and understanding of cyclones and hurricanes.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

You beat me to it, @lillycoyote. Hurricanes are a subset of all cyclones, in the primary meaning of the word (according to Merriam-Webster) meaning “a storm system rotating about a center, advancing at a certain speed and capable of bringing heavy rain”. But not all cyclones are hurricanes, because hurricanes have a minimum wind speed of 75 mph, and not all cyclones have that.

The word “cyclone” has several meanings, one of which is more or less synonymous with “tornado”, but a tornado does not fit one of the major criteria for hurricanes, namely “size”.

The word “criteria” has been defined well, but the example sentence has problems of its own.

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