in·​flu·​en·​tial | \ ˌin-(ˌ)flü-ˈen(t)-shəl How to pronounce influential (audio) \

Definition of influential

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: exerting or possessing influence



Definition of influential (Entry 2 of 2)

: one who has great influence

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Other Words from influential


influentially \ ˌin-​(ˌ)flü-​ˈen(t)-​sh(ə-​)lē How to pronounce influentially (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for influential

Synonyms: Adjective

authoritative, forceful, weighty

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Examples of influential in a Sentence


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: Adjective

Epstein's influential allies have included a dream team of defense lawyers, such as Dershowitz; former Clinton special prosecutor Kenneth Starr; and leading white-collar defense attorneys Lefcourt, Roy Black and Jay Lefkowitz. Marc Fisher, Anchorage Daily News, "Epstein built a network of powerful defenders," 10 July 2019 Now in its fifth year, this year's summit offered the opportunity to look back on the progress that's been made through the stories, examples and advice shared by influential speakers who have paved the way for the next generation of women leaders. Danielle Page, USA TODAY, "A Women’s Leadership Summit with the goal of helping advance more women into the C-Suite," 8 July 2019 But there are sharp divisions within Georgian society about what role its much larger, politically influential northern neighbor should play., "Georgian TV host unleashes tirade against Putin as tensions with Russia escalate," 8 July 2019 Oase and a group of influential donors had asked him to become chair of the board., "After a year of close calls, last-minute bailouts, Special Olympics of Oregon survives financial crisis," 7 July 2019 On a hot, balmy evening in New Orleans during the 25th annual Essence Festival, a room full of influential women gathered to celebrate motherhood, sisterhood and the power of being a woman during a spectacular evening hosted by NYDJ. Dominique Hobdy, Essence, "Tina Knowles-Lawson Reveals The Most Important Way Motherhood Has Shaped Her," 7 July 2019 As President Donald Trump named his picks to fill two influential seats on the Federal Reserve's Board of Governors, the price of gold surged. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Trump Fed pick wants to revive the gold standard. Here's what that means," 3 July 2019 Well, a scintillating corporate crime drama that remains among the director's most underrated works; followed on July 26 by 1961's Yojimbo, Kurosawa's influential tale of a rogue samurai whose ambiguous allegiances cause chaos in a small town. Jordan Cronk, The Hollywood Reporter, "Critic's Picks: A July To-Do List for Film Buffs in L.A.," 1 July 2019 But in January, Pope Francis singled out as worthy of study the work of Bishop Fritz Lobinger, a German who has lived in South Africa for decades and has written several influential books arguing for married priests. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Catholics Debate the Future of Priestly Celibacy," 27 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of influential


1570, in the meaning defined above


1831, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for influential

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for influential

The first known use of influential was in 1570

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More Definitions for influential



English Language Learners Definition of influential

: having the power to cause changes : having influence


in·​flu·​en·​tial | \ ˌin-flü-ˈen-shəl How to pronounce influential (audio) \

Kids Definition of influential

: having the power to cause change : having influence

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Comments on influential

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to complain fretfully

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