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[sig-nif-i-kuh ns] /sɪgˈnɪf ɪ kəns/
importance; consequence:
the significance of the new treaty.
meaning; import:
The familiar place had a new significance for her.
the quality of being significant or having a meaning:
to give significance to dull chores.
Origin of significance
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin significantia force, meaning, equivalent to significant- (see significant) + -ia -ia; see -ance
Related forms
nonsignificance, noun
self-significance, noun
1. moment, weight. See importance. 2. See meaning.
1. triviality. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for significance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Of the significance of the life of this great man, it would be superfluous to speak.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • It is doubtful if she would have realized its significance, had she seen it.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • And this illustration has significance for more than the physical order of revelation.

    Understanding the Scriptures Francis McConnell
  • Peter knew he was experiencing a ceremony of some kind, the significance of which he must learn.

    Her Father's Daughter Gene Stratton-Porter
  • Even then its significance was disregarded and its importance underrated.

    The Story of the Malakand Field Force Sir Winston S. Churchill
British Dictionary definitions for significance


consequence or importance
something signified, expressed, or intended
the state or quality of being significant
  1. a measure of the confidence that can be placed in a result, esp a substantive causal hypothesis, as not being merely a matter of chance
  2. (as modifier): a significance level Compare confidence level See also hypothesis testing
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 significance

c.1400, "meaning," from Old French significance or directly from Latin significantia "meaning, force, energy," from significans, present participle of significare "to mean, import, signify" (see signify). The earlier word was signifiance (mid-13c.). Meaning "importance" is from 1725. Related: Significancy.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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