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See more synonyms for significant on Thesaurus.com
  1. important; of consequence.
  2. having or expressing a meaning; indicative; suggestive: a significant wink.
  3. Statistics. of or relating to observations that are unlikely to occur by chance and that therefore indicate a systematic cause.
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  1. something significant; a sign.
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Origin of significant

1570–80; < Latin significant- (stem of significāns), present participle of significāre to signify; see -ant
Related formssig·nif·i·cant·ly, adverbnon·sig·nif·i·cant, adjectivenon·sig·nif·i·cant·ly, adverbsu·per·sig·nif·i·cant, adjectivesu·per·sig·nif·i·cant·ly, adverbun·sig·nif·i·cant, adjectiveun·sig·nif·i·cant·ly, adverb

Synonyms for significant

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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for significant

Contemporary Examples of significant

Historical Examples of significant

  • Its most significant details were of a sordid kind, familiar to poverty.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

  • Mrs. Pendarves went to see it, and her criticisms are significant for the taste of the time.


    Edward J. Dent

  • The Peace Mark was only one of the significant ways in which Indians painted their faces.

    The Trail Book

    Mary Austin

  • This essay is quite as significant for what it has not said as for what it has said.

  • "You do not know but it may be a friend," was his significant answer.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

British Dictionary definitions for significant


  1. having or expressing a meaning; indicative
  2. having a covert or implied meaning; suggestive
  3. important, notable, or momentous
  4. statistics of or relating to a difference between a result derived from a hypothesis and its observed value that is too large to be attributed to chance and that therefore tends to refute the hypothesis
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Derived Formssignificantly, adverb

Word Origin for significant

C16: from Latin significāre to signify
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 significant


1570s, "having a meaning," from Latin significantem (nominative significans, present participle of significare "make known, indicate" (see signify). Earlier in the same sense was significative (c.1400). Often "having a special or secret meaning," hence "important" (1761). Related: Significantly. Significant figure is from 1680s. Significant other (n.) attested by 1961, in psychology, "the most influential other person in the patient's world."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper