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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

Examples of influential in a Sentence

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
At the plastics industry’s annual conference in New York, Lloyd Stouffer, the editor of an influential trade magazine, urged executives to stop emphasizing plastics’ durability. Michael Copley, NPR, 9 June 2024 In a rare foray into foreign policy, the influential organization added to the mounting pressure from Black leaders on Mr. Biden to stop aiding Israel’s war in Gaza. Erica L. Green, New York Times, 6 June 2024
To secure support from the elders and influentials, potential parliamentarians were reputed to have paid tens of thousands of dollars for a vote. Vanda Felbab-Brown, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2017 The pattern began in the Russian leader’s earliest days, when Boris A. Berezovsky, an oligarch influential in Mr. Putin’s rise, ran afoul of him and fled, treated for years as a public enemy before his death in Britain in 2013 under murky circumstances. Paul Sonne, New York Times, 25 Aug. 2023 See all Example Sentences for influential 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'influential.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 16 Jun. 2024.

Kids Definition


: having influence

More from Merriam-Webster on influential

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