Crisis vs Crises: Difference and Comparison

Homophones and plural forms of the same word are often confusing. Homophones sound the same but are a whole new world with different meanings and usage.

Although they have minute differences when spoken in a word, its usage and form change completely when the word is popularized.

Two such words are crisis and crises. Although they look very similar, they are very different.

Key Takeaways

  1. A crisis is a singular noun describing a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.
  2. Crises are the plural form of crisis, referring to multiple situations of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.
  3. The proper usage depends on the context and whether the subject refers to one or multiple difficult situations.

Crisis vs Crises

Crisis, used in the singular form, is a singular noun that refers to a decisive turning point in the course of a situation involving danger or difficulty. Crises is the plural form of crisis, referring to multiple instances of such decisive turning points is used in the singular form.

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Crisis vs Crises

Crises refer to many severe conditions and situations. Derived from the root word ‘crisis,’ crises don’t find much application in modern life.

It’s the plural form of the root word ‘crisis’ and is used less frequently. Generally, ‘crises’ are used by reporters during their news reporting. The term finds usage as a noun.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCrisisCrises
FormThe crisis is used both as a noun and as an adjective. Crises are used only as a noun.
UseThe crisis is used to indicate a serious and dangerous event. Crises are used to indicate consequently occurring disastrous events.
FrequencyThe crisis is used frequently in daily life.Crises are less used and are less frequent.
VersionThe crisis is the singular form.Crises are the plural form.
ExampleThe current economic crisis in India is hard to recover from.The repeated natural calamities have landed the country in unexpected crises.

What is Crisis?

The term “crisis” is used as a noun and adjective. It refers to a severe difficult situation that can’t be dealt with without proper attention and precautions.

However, there are other meanings and definitions for the crisis. Sometimes, the ‘crisis’ indicates a turning point in any acute disease, irrespective of whether it’s for the good or bad.

Sometimes, the term ‘crisis’ also refers to a paroxysmal attack on an individual, leading to distress and pain. It is used to symbolize an event in a person’s life that affects him emotionally.

Beyond these commonly used definitions, the crisis also means a crucial time in a drama or situation where decision-making decides the upcoming future. The term ‘crisis’ also refers to a critical phase.

The usage of this term took place for the first time in the 15th century. Moreover, with time, the term has undergone a semantic change.

Earlier, the term was used to indicate a crossroad or decisive point in any situation. However, today, it’s used to indicate a dangerous situation.

This term is passed down to the Middle English people from Latin, who further lent it from the Greek people.

crisis

What is Crises?

The term “crises” is used as a plural form of the word ‘crisis.’ It refers to a continuously occurring sequence of unfavorable and dangerous events.

Crises’ may be referred to as events that occur unexpectedly, lead to uncertainty and chaos in the environment, and can potentially threaten the surrounding.

Crises generally refer to a series of crises that occur consecutively. They can also refer to a negative turn of events in any field, i.e., economic, environmental, political, and social. 

Crises, situations, and events come with no warning. It’s perhaps the testing time in any situation. The word might seem confusing in the way it is turned into plural.

The root word of crisis, i.e., crisis, ends with the consonant ‘s.’ Words of Greek origin are made plural by adding the consonant ‘s.’

However, in the case of the term ‘crisis,’ which is a Greek word, the consonant is already present in the root word. Thus, the plural form of crisis comes out as crisis. 

The term is used as a noun. For example, The country has been facing many serious crises for the last five years.

Here, the usage of the ‘crisis’ in place ‘crises’ would have been incorrect because the sentence implies various serious issues the country has been dealing with for a long time. The usage of this term is not done frequently.

Main Differences Between Crisis and Crises

  1. The crisis is the singular form of usage. On the other hand, crises are the plural form of ‘crisis.’
  2. A crisis indicates a single dangerous or serious event. But crises refer to many such threatening events.
  3. The use of crisis is done both as a noun and as an adjective. On the contrary, crises are only seen as a noun.
  4. The crisis is frequently used in day-to-day life. But, crises are used by news reporters and aren’t used in day-to-day life.
  5. The term ‘crisis’ first finds its usage in the fifteenth century. But, the term ‘crises’ evolved out of the crisis as its root word.
Difference Between Crisis and Crises
References
  1. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1993-98947-000
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1057/bm.2014.12

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