See more synonyms for important on
  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.

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 formsim·por·tant·ly, adverbhalf-im·por·tant, adjectivehalf-im·por·tant·ly, adverbpre·im·por·tant, adjectivepre·im·por·tant·ly, adverbqua·si-im·por·tant, adjectivequa·si-im·por·tant·ly, adverbsu·per·im·por·tant, adjectivesu·per·im·por·tant·ly, adverbun·im·por·tant, adjectiveun·im·por·tant·ly, 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for important

Contemporary Examples of important

Historical Examples of important

  • 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.


    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


  1. of great significance or value; outstandingVoltaire is an important writer
  2. of social significance; notable; eminent; esteemedan important man in the town
  3. (when postpositive, usually foll by to) specially relevant or of great concern (to); valued highly (by)your wishes are important to me
  4. an obsolete word for importunate
Derived Formsimportantly, adverb

Word Origin for important

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


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
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

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