adjective im·por·tant \ im-ˈpȯr-tᵊnt , especially Southern US and New England -tənt , -dənt \
|Updated on: 20 Aug 2018

Definition of important

1 : marked by or indicative of significant worth or consequence : valuable in content or relationship
2 obsolete : importunate, urgent
3 : giving evidence of a feeling of self-importance

importantly vs. important

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

Examples of important in a Sentence

  1. Diet and exercise are important for health.

  2. In his editorial, he made several important points.

  3. Scientists have made an important discovery.

  4. Doing her job well is important to her.

  5. He's one of the most important scholars in his field.

Recent Examples of important from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of important

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

IMPORTANT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of important for English Language Learners

  • : having serious meaning or worth : deserving or requiring serious attention

  • : having power, authority, or influence

IMPORTANT Defined for Kids


adjective im·por·tant \ im-ˈpȯr-tᵊnt \

Definition of important for Students

1 : having serious meaning or worth
  • Graduation is an important event in your life.
2 : having power or authority
  • an important leader



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