A standard to judge by. See Critic.
- Nuttall's Standard dictionary of the English language. By Nuttall, P.Austin. Published 1914. (s. & pl.) (singular, plural)

Usage examples:

The public was becoming interested in the principles of dramatic construction and in the criteria of excellence.
- The Life and Works of Friedrich Schiller by Calvin Thomas
The common cant of criticism for generations had been that " sense" and " reason" were to be the only criteria
- The English Novel by George Saintsbury
The conditions determining resistance are exceedingly variable, and no broad generalization can be made; but within a local province a given group of mineral deposits may characteristically form depressions or ridges, and thus topographic criteria may be very useful in exploration.
- The Economic Aspect of Geology by C. K. Leith