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[im-pawr-tnt] /ɪmˈpɔr tnt/
of much or great significance or consequence:
an important event in world history.
mattering much (usually followed by to):
details important to a fair decision.
entitled to more than ordinary consideration or notice:
an important exception.
prominent or large:
He played an important part in national politics.
of considerable influence or authority, as a person or position:
an important scientist.
having social position or distinction, as a person or family:
important guests.
pompous; pretentious:
When speaking, he assumes an important attitude that offends his audience.
Obsolete. importunate.
Origin of important
1580-90; < Medieval Latin important- (stem of importāns present participle of importāre to be of consequence, weigh, Latin: to carry in, import), equivalent to im- im-1 + port- port5 + -ant- -ant; see import
Related forms
importantly, adverb
half-important, adjective
half-importantly, adverb
preimportant, adjective
preimportantly, adverb
quasi-important, adjective
quasi-importantly, adverb
superimportant, adjective
superimportantly, adverb
unimportant, adjective
unimportantly, adverb
Usage note
Both more important and more importantly occur at the beginning of a sentence in all varieties of standard English: More important (or More importantly), her record as an administrator is unmatched. Today, more importantly is the more common, even though some object to its use on the grounds that more important is an elliptical form of “What is more important” and that the adverb importantly could not occur in such a construction. More importantly probably developed by analogy with other sentence-modifying adverbs, as curiously, fortunately, and regrettably. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for important
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • What was quite as important, he seemed disposed to help him.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • It remained throughout these many changes an important center of commerce.

    Ancient Man Hendrik Willem van Loon
  • Austin and I have the most important business to transact at Witherby, so he's driving me over.

    Viviette William J. Locke
  • March 1st, he made an important speech in the House of Commons.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Prosperity and power—yes, they are important, and we must maintain them.

British Dictionary definitions for important


of great significance or value; outstanding: Voltaire is an important writer
of social significance; notable; eminent; esteemed: an important man in the town
(when postpositive) usually foll by to. specially relevant or of great concern (to); valued highly (by): your wishes are important to me
an obsolete word for importunate
Derived Forms
importantly, adverb
Usage note
The use of more importantly as in more importantly, the local council is opposed to this proposal has become very common, but many people still prefer to use more important
Word Origin
C16: from Old Italian importante, from Medieval Latin importāre to signify, be of consequence, from Latin: to carry in; see import
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 important

mid-15c., from Middle French important and directly from Medieval Latin importantem (nominative importans), present participle of importare "be significant in," from Latin importare "bring in" (see import). Related: Importantly.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for important



Impressive; imposing; heavy, serious: wear short dresses made of metal and leather and have important hair (1980s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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