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

1400–50; late Middle English (< Middle French) < Latin significantia force, meaning, equivalent to significant- (see significant) + -ia -ia; see -ance
Related formsnon·sig·nif·i·cance, nounself-sig·nif·i·cance, noun

Synonyms for significance

1. moment, weight. See importance. 2. See meaning.

Antonyms for significance Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for significance

Contemporary Examples of significance

Historical Examples of significance

  • 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.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • And this illustration has significance for more than the physical order of revelation.

  • Even then its significance was disregarded and its importance underrated.

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

    Her Father's Daughter

    Gene Stratton-Porter

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

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