[ im-pawr-tnt ]
See synonyms for: importantimportantly 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.

  1. entitled to more than ordinary consideration or notice: an important exception.

  2. prominent or large: He played an important part in national politics.

  3. of considerable influence or authority, as a person or position: an important scientist.

  4. having social position or distinction, as a person or family: important guests.

  5. pompous; pretentious: When speaking, he assumes an important attitude that offends his audience.

  6. Obsolete. importunate.

Origin of important

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 + port- port5 + -ans -ant; see import

usage note For important

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.

Other words from important

  • 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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use important in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for important


/ (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

  1. (when postpositive, usually foll by to) specially relevant or of great concern (to); valued highly (by): your wishes are important to me

  2. an obsolete word for importunate

Origin of important

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

usage For important

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

Derived forms of important

  • importantly, adverb

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