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[im-pawr-tns] /ɪmˈpɔr tns/
the quality or state of being important; consequence; significance.
important position or standing; personal or social consequence.
consequential air or manner:
an air of bustling importance.
Obsolete. an important matter.
Obsolete. importunity.
Obsolete. import or meaning.
Origin of importance
From the Medieval Latin word importantia, dating back to 1495-1505. See important, -ance
Related forms
preimportance, noun
unimportance, noun
Can be confused
importance, impotence (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. moment, weight, concern. Importance, consequence, significance, moment all signify something valuable, influential, or worthy of note. Importance is the most general of these, assigning exceptional or notable value or influence to a person or thing: the importance of Einstein's discoveries. Consequence may suggest outstanding personal quality or position, or it may suggest importance because of results to be produced: a woman of consequence in world affairs; an event of great consequence for our future. Significance can be used interchangeably with importance or consequence, but it carries also the implication of importance that is not readily or immediately recognized: The significance of the discovery only became clear years later. Moment, on the other hand, almost always refers to immediately apparent, self-evident importance: a change of great moment for the nation's political system. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for importances
Historical Examples
  • We are beginning to have glamours and importances of our own.

    On the Stairs Henry B. Fuller
  • "Be damned and blasted to women and all their importances," cried Aaron.

    Aaron's Rod D. H. Lawrence
  • Thus the commissioners, recovering from their panic, began to frown with importances.

    Gargoyles Ben Hecht
British Dictionary definitions for importances


the state of being important; significance
social status; standing; esteem: a man of importance
  1. meaning or signification
  2. an important matter
  3. importunity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for importances



c.1500, from Middle French importance or directly from Medieval Latin importantia, from importantem (see important).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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