of, relating to, or serving as a pivot.
of vital or critical importance: a pivotal event.

Origin of pivotal

First recorded in 1835–45; pivot + -al1
Related formspiv·ot·al·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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British Dictionary definitions for pivotal



of, involving, or acting as a pivot
of crucial importance
Derived Formspivotally, 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

Word Origin and History for pivotal

1844, in figurative sense, from pivot (n.) + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper