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in·​flu·​en·​tial ˌin-(ˌ)flü-ˈen(t)-shəl How to pronounce influential (audio)
: exerting or possessing influence
influentially adverb


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: one who has great influence

Example Sentences

Adjective His theories have become more influential in recent years. My parents have been the most influential people in my life.
Recent Examples on the Web
Of all the beneficiaries of Dickens, none have been more influential than Disney and Dahl. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, 2 Dec. 2022 The Tokyo ruling promises to be influential, as the capital has an outsize influence on the rest of Japan. Reuters, NBC News, 1 Dec. 2022 Yet no individual was more influential to Berhalter than the young, prickly manager making his name at Ajax Amsterdam. Jonathan Clegg, WSJ, 1 Dec. 2022 Some are, but most understand that credit scores are hugely influential in our financial lives. Liz Weston, oregonlive, 26 Nov. 2022 Equally influential to Louboutin's creative vision is his longstanding affection for dance—an art form that performers like Ingrid Silva are helping to reach new heights. Harper's BAZAAR, 21 Nov. 2022 That means middle managers are hugely influential in the success of programs at scale. Stephanie Cain, Fortune, 18 Nov. 2022 Crystal Robinson was influential in her nephew's development as a basketball player. Alex Vejar, The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 Nov. 2022 You would be forgiven for not realizing just how influential Virginia was 20 years ago. Mychal Denzel Smith, The Atlantic, 18 Nov. 2022
But in the two months since the law went into effect, many of the biggest ticket marketplaces in the live industry aren’t following the new law, a state senator influential in its passing says. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 7 Nov. 2022 Turcer, whose organization is part of a speaker’s bureau in which people talk about the judiciary across the state to increase interest in the influential but often overlooked branch, doesn’t completely write off the Republican justices’ concerns. cleveland, 9 May 2022 Most of them were coached by Brewer, a former Negro Leagues star who became an influential — if often overlooked — part of baseball’s history. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2022 Opposing the legislation is the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA), which is another powerful organization influential in Montgomery. al, 22 Dec. 2021 For the influential and the politically connected, an empty Carbone’s is a sign of an era passing. Susan Dunne,, 9 Dec. 2021 The movie tracks the brothers' many ups and downs over the past 50-plus years as an influential (if underrated) act, as Wright brings their stories and sonic reinventions to life through animation. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, 17 June 2021 Speaking of snubs — at least the BBMAs gave Pop Smoke a chance to be rightfully honored for his influential, cut-short career after the rapper was also roundly snubbed at the Grammys. Justin Curto, Vulture, 24 May 2021 But for Kelsey Piper and many others, the main issue came down to the name, and tying the man known professionally and legally as Scott Siskind to his influential, and controversial, writings as Scott Alexander. New York Times, 8 Feb. 2021 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


1570, in the meaning defined above


1831, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of influential was in 1570

Dictionary Entries Near influential

Cite this Entry

“Influential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


: having influence

More from Merriam-Webster on influential

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