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

Kate Middleton has always had enviable style, with a 2018 study noting that the Duchess of Cambridge is even more influential on shopping habits in the U.S. than Meghan Markle is. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Middleton Has Hired a Former Fashion Editor to Revamp Her Wardrobe," 30 Mar. 2019 The filing adds an influential voice to the growing chorus of creditors... Andrew Scurria, WSJ, "U.S. Pension Insurer Slams Lampert Bid for Sears," 27 Jan. 2019 The latter was Vaccarello’s Pop reinterpretation of Saint Laurent’s own revisionist take on World War II–era clothing, which was critically panned at the time but went on to become influential in the street. Nicole Phelps, Vogue, "The Top 12 Shows of Paris Fashion Week Fall 2019," 6 Mar. 2019 These companies have just become too influential, bad for the economy, a host of reasons, anti-competitive practices. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Snap will get acquired before 2020, probably by Amazon," 28 Sep. 2018 The historic district has been particularly popular among Millennials, those travelers in their 20s and early 30s who are becoming more influential. Nancy Trejos, USA TODAY, "Dream homes: Five tempting homes for sale in Savannah," 11 July 2018 Ever the influential designer, Philo's Frankenstein-ed slip-on trend danced around the women's world for sometime before finally landing in menswear, where the high fashion/low fashion sandal has truly found its spiritual home. Liz Raiss, GQ, "This Summer's Best Sandals Got the Big Ugly Sneaker Treatment," 4 July 2018 On Wednesday, Brosnahan, the star of the Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, paid tribute to the influential designer, née Katherine Noel Brosnahan, who was found dead at 55 from apparent suicide in her N.Y.C. apartment one day prior. Mike Miller,, "Rachel Brosnahan Attends 2018 Tony Awards Days After Aunt Kate Spade's Death," 10 June 2018 On his first day at the conference, the Duke also met privately with key influential leaders from health organizations and charities to discuss outcomes from the sessions and talk about necessary commitments to ensure needs are met. Omid Scobie, Harper's BAZAAR, "Inside Prince Harry’s Plan to “Smash” the AIDS Stigma and Get More Men Testing for HIV," 26 July 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

3 May 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

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


using a distributed computer network

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