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 influential (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for influential

Synonyms: Adjective

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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: Adjective But one of the most influential figures in developing the language was Otl Aicher, a German whose commitment to universal design was shaped by his experience with some of the greatest horrors committed in the name of nationalism. Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 July 2021 Banks, who represents the northeast portion of the state in District 3 and is the chair of the influential conservative Republican Study Committee, was among those who opposed certifying election results last November. Kaitlin Lange, The Indianapolis Star, 21 July 2021 Paxton and other influential figures within the GOP have proven to be more than willing to follow that false premise to its logical conclusion. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 13 July 2021 Fox Nation is a sponsor of CPAC and will be streaming live speeches from the most influential conservatives at CPAC 2021: America Uncanceled. Tyler Olson, Fox News, 12 July 2021 Both musicians have penned, produced, and of course, sang chart-topping hits and remain influential figures in not only the world of R&B but have also had an impact in the realms of hip-hop and even soul. Kisha Forde, Essence, 29 June 2021 The son of a politically influential Springfield family, Bennett Walsh had no health care experience before Baker appointed him Holyoke Soldiers’ Home superintendent in 2016., 26 June 2021 In the meantime, Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota, plans to take her influential Rules Committee to Georgia in the coming weeks to convene a field hearing homing in on criticism of the new law there. New York Times, 25 June 2021 Their ancestor, Richard Lee I, arrived in Virginia in 1639, made a fortune in tobacco and started the politically influential Lee family in Virginia. al, 17 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 People with loud and powerful voices—the influential and the extroverted—can have a force on discussion and decisions beyond what their insight or intelligence merits. Jonathan Becker, Fortune, 24 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for influential

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The first known use of influential was in 1570

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Last Updated

26 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Influential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Aug. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on influential

Nglish: Translation of influential for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of influential for Arabic Speakers


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