im·​por·​tant im-ˈpȯr-tᵊnt How to pronounce important (audio)
 especially Southern US and New England  -tənt,
: marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence : valuable in content or relationship
: giving evidence of a feeling of self-importance
obsolete : importunate, urgent
Importantly vs. Important: Usage Guide

A number of commentators have objected to importantly as a sentence modifier (the use defined above at sense 1) and have recommended important instead. Actually, both the adverb and the adjective are in reputable standard use in this function. Important is always used with more or most.

had bronze weapons and composite bows; more important, they utilized the horse and war chariot Harry A. Gailey, Jr.
second and most important, the book contains no important woman character F. Scott Fitzgerald

Importantly is commonly used in similar contexts, but it is somewhat more flexible in not requiring more or most.

sticks and, just as importantly, unsticks easily Phoebe Hawkins
importantly, the leaven in the mixture is quality George O'Brien

Example Sentences

Diet and exercise are important for health. In his editorial, he made several important points. Scientists have made an important discovery. Doing her job well is important to her. He's one of the most important scholars in his field.
Recent Examples on the Web Having these conversations is important, and learning more from people already working on these problems. Ramin Skibba, WIRED, 3 Mar. 2023 Here’s why that’s so important when reporting your phone as stolen. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, 2 Mar. 2023 The Medicare agency said the risk-adjustment changes are important to update the payment system and ensure its accuracy. Anna Wilde Mathews, WSJ, 2 Mar. 2023 In the beginning, the company’s products were more vegetable oriented, according to president and owner Reinhard Liebner, and pickling was important. Cathy Jakicic, Journal Sentinel, 2 Mar. 2023 But his character isn’t important until the real Shriver (Zach Braff) shows up on campus, photo ID and documentation in tow, exposing the janitor’s scam. Rene Rodriguez, Variety, 2 Mar. 2023 What was important was that the directors felt connected to the material. Dallas News, 2 Mar. 2023 But maintaining strong alliances is still important, and Parnov's greatest connections are Shonee Bowtell and George Mladenov. Alicia Vrajlal,, 2 Mar. 2023 Also write down a detailed description and script of the dream itself (writing is important because the act of writing helps to open your mind, prompting thoughts and memories). Amy Dickinson, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Mar. 2023 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'important.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


Middle English importante, from Medieval Latin important-, importans, present participle of importare to signify — more at import entry 1

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near important

Cite this Entry

“Important.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


im·​por·​tant im-ˈpȯrt-ᵊnt How to pronounce important (audio)
: having great meaning or influence : significant
an important day to remember
our most important product
an important change
: having power or authority
an important leader
: believing or acting as if one's importance is greater than it really is
importantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on important

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