in·flu·en·tial | \ ˌin-(ˌ)flü-ˈen(t)-shəl \

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 \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for influential

Synonyms: Adjective

heavy, heavy-duty, important, mighty, potent, powerful, puissant, significant, strong

Antonyms: Adjective

helpless, impotent, insignificant, little, powerless, unimportant, weak

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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

Carrying white supremacist materials exposes Amazon to serious public relations risks, particularly as such groups are seen as increasingly influential and toxic to world politics. David Z. Morris, Fortune, "Amazon Sold Books, Backpacks, and Toys Promoting Hate to Kids, Report Shows," 7 July 2018 Arrayed against this nostalgia are two sources of dissent, the first more objectionable and the second more influential. The Economist, "The legacy of Germany’s student protests in 1968," 31 May 2018 Gaudi’s audacious designs were shocking in the early years but are now considered to be some of the most influential of the twentieth century. Houston Chronicle, "City pool opens for summer; extensive renovations complete," 26 May 2018 And then came 1974, and the publication of one of the most important and influential novels in the history of young adult literature. Michael Cart, Smithsonian, "How “Young Adult” Fiction Blossomed With Teenage Culture in America," 7 May 2018 The Blooloop 50 is designed to be an industry standard highlighting the most influential people each year. Dewayne Bevil,, "New list spotlights theme-park influencers, including Rohde, Iger, Coup," 11 July 2018 Time Magazine has revealed 25 of the most influential people on the Internet. Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY, "Kylie Jenner, worth $900 million, on track to be youngest self-made billionaire by age 21," 11 July 2018 One of those confronting the challenges is Jan Rader, the town’s fire chief, who was named one of Time magazine’s most influential people of 2018. Glenn Kenny, New York Times, "3 Sobering Documentaries on Netflix, Fandor and Field of Vision," 5 July 2018 Time Magazine recently named Kwan to the 2018 TIME 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Staff Reports, Houston Chronicle, "News & Notes: The Woodlands, June 23," 23 June 2018

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

20 Sep 2018

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 \

Kids Definition of influential

: having the power to cause change : having influence

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Comments on influential

What made you want to look up influential? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


the setting in which something occurs

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