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 Soon after Casablanca launched in 2018 with men’s wear, the young, famous, influential, and female—Hailey Bieber, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid—joined the club, co-opting the boys. Jessica Iredale, Town & Country, 10 Sep. 2021 But given that The Sopranos is one of the greatest and most influential television shows ever made, why not binge the entire series in the weeks leading up to the movie’s release? Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 10 Sep. 2021 Moreover, Piano’s friendship with the two greatest and most influential Italian composers of his generation, Luciano Berio and Luigi Nono, has had historic consequences. Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2021 Top officials of West Africa's influential economic bloc, ECOWAS, are expected to meet in Conakry, the capital, with the military officers now ruling the country and press them to immediately return the country to constitutional rule. Francis Kokutse, ajc, 9 Sep. 2021 The USA TODAY Network interviewed influential Muslim Americans about the lasting impact of the 2001 attacks. USA Today, 9 Sep. 2021 Lewinsky, now 48, has won over a large and influential fan base with her humor, self-awareness, and resilience. David Klion, The New Republic, 9 Sep. 2021 When Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, the paper remained influential, telegraphing Beijing’s thinking while delivering largely reliable, if heavily slanted, reporting. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, 9 Sep. 2021 These influential groups are working to change that. Molly Carmichael And Martha Daniels, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 9 Sep. 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

12 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Influential.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 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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