im·​por·​tance im-ˈpȯr-tᵊn(t)s How to pronounce importance (audio)
 especially Southern US and New England  -tən(t)s,
: the quality or state of being important : consequence
: an important aspect or bearing : significance
obsolete : import, meaning
obsolete : importunity
obsolete : a weighty matter
Choose the Right Synonym for importance

importance, consequence, moment, weight, significance mean a quality or aspect having great worth or significance.

importance implies a value judgment of the superior worth or influence of something or someone.

a region with no cities of importance

consequence generally implies importance because of probable or possible effects.

the style you choose is of little consequence

moment implies conspicuous or self-evident consequence.

a decision of great moment

weight implies a judgment of the immediate relative importance of something.

the argument carried no weight with the judge

significance implies a quality or character that should mark a thing as important but that is not self-evident and may or may not be recognized.

the treaty's significance

Examples of importance in a Sentence

The teacher lectured the students on the importance of mutual respect. He exaggerated the importance of his role in the rescue mission. The negotiations have taken on added importance in the wake of the bomb attack. a matter of little importance
Recent Examples on the Web Recent events reflect a clear recognition of the importance of Hispanics as the largest swing vote in the upcoming 2024 Presidential election. Caitlin Huston, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Nov. 2023 The space station’s irregular geometry compounds this issue, increasing the importance of keeping the station in a stable orientation during its atmospheric plunge. Meghan Bartels, Scientific American, 21 Nov. 2023 While our experts can’t stress enough the importance of layering for staying warm, your outer layer is the next most important piece of clothing for skiing. Anna Popp, Travel + Leisure, 21 Nov. 2023 This year’s National Book Awards ceremony featured Oprah Winfrey as a special guest, who also touched upon the importance of literary freedom. Carly Tagen-Dye, Peoplemag, 18 Nov. 2023 In a recent interview with the New York Times, Wolfe talked about the importance of telling Bayard’s story. Shelby Stewart, Essence, 17 Nov. 2023 Thomas Rongen has learned, over the course of a globe-trotting soccer career, the importance of locking in the first name on the team sheet. Thomas Floyd, Washington Post, 16 Nov. 2023 At a Demand a Seat event, Colorado State Sen. Tom Sullivan spoke with candidates and volunteers about the importance of bringing their activism to the bigger political stage. Sarah Baniak, ABC News, 9 Nov. 2023 During the visit, Navy SEALs, veterans and their families spoke with Prince Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, about the importance of the program's resources and support. Stephanie Petit, Peoplemag, 9 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'importance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of importance was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near importance

Cite this Entry

“Importance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​por·​tance im-ˈpȯrt-ᵊn(t)s How to pronounce importance (audio)
: the quality or state of being important

More from Merriam-Webster on importance

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!