View synonyms for important


[ im-pawr-tnt ]


  1. of much or great significance or consequence:

    an important event in world history.

  2. mattering much (usually followed by to ):

    details important to a fair decision.

  3. entitled to more than ordinary consideration or notice:

    an important exception.

  4. prominent or large:

    He played an important part in national politics.

  5. of considerable influence or authority, as a person or position:

    an important scientist.

  6. having social position or distinction, as a person or family:

    important guests.

  7. pompous; pretentious:

    When speaking, he assumes an important attitude that offends his audience.

  8. Obsolete. importunate.


/ ɪmˈpɔːtənt /


  1. of great significance or value; outstanding

    Voltaire is an important writer

  2. of social significance; notable; eminent; esteemed

    an important man in the town

  3. when postpositive,usually foll byto specially relevant or of great concern (to); valued highly (by)

    your wishes are important to me

  4. an obsolete word for importunate

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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.

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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

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Derived Forms

  • imˈportantly, adverb

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Other Words From

  • im·portant·ly adverb
  • half-im·portant adjective
  • half-im·portant·ly adverb
  • preim·portant adjective
  • preim·portant·ly adverb
  • quasi-im·portant adjective
  • quasi-im·portant·ly adverb
  • super·im·portant adjective
  • super·im·portant·ly adverb
  • unim·portant adjective
  • unim·portant·ly adverb

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Word History and Origins

Origin of important1

First recorded in 1580–90; from Medieval Latin important-, stem of importāns, present participle of importāre “to be of consequence, weigh,” from Latin: “to carry in, import,” equivalent to im- im- 1( def ) + port- port 5( def ) + -ans -ant ( def ); import ( def )

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Word History and Origins

Origin of important1

C16: from Old Italian importante, from Medieval Latin importāre to signify, be of consequence, from Latin: to carry in; see import

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Example Sentences

We can argue about what the specifics of a plan should look like, but the important thing is that we get back to the negotiating table and hammer out a deal that can be passed into law.

The most important thing you can do when you’re in the 50 Best is enjoy it, because it’s not going to last.

From Eater

We want to see China rise, to continue to rise in a responsible way that will benefit you most, China, because you have an important role to play.

If we had much smaller testing, would have fewer, but we feel that having testing is a very important thing.

Crime and safety and health care rank next on the list of most important issues.

It is also important to avoid using the pope as part of a marketing strategy.

I don't know why or who's doing it, but it's the legacy…and it's a legacy that is so important to the culture.

The benefits of incumbency are quite potent, especially in the all-important area of raising campaign funds.

Again, the difference can seem subtle and sound more like splitting hairs, but the difference is important.

But the most important point I want to make is about what the press does now.

But I hope at least to play to him a few times, and what is more important, to hear him play repeatedly.

That the inconstancy of such notices, in cases equally important, proves they did not proceed from any such agent.

An estimation of the solids, therefore, furnishes an important clue to the functional efficiency of the kidneys.

Words are often everywhere as the minute-hands of the soul, more important than even the hour-hands of action.

The quality of artistic beauty in articulation is very important, beyond the mere accuracy which is ordinarily thought of.