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

Graham touted her endorsement from the influential Florida Education Association teachers union. Anthony Man,, "Democratic governor candidates seek edge for final sprint to primary," 2 July 2018 To grasp how influential Kennedy was on this court, take a look at this chart showing the history of the median justice. Alvin Chang, Vox, "The volatility of the Supreme Court, explained in a cartoon," 2 July 2018 Dawn Ostroff, one of the most influential women in media, has joined Spotify as the music streaming company's new chief content officer. Marc Schneider, Billboard, "Dawn Ostroff Joins Spotify as Chief Content Officer," 26 June 2018 Last month, the Times Up movement publicly backed the #MuteRKelly campaign with support from several influential women like Ava DuVernay and Shonda Rhimes. Paula Rogo,, "Tarana Burke Says R. Kelly’s Victims Are Ignored Because They Are Black And Brown Girls," 1 June 2018 Johnson added that both of his little ones’ middle names come from other influential women in the couple’s lives, their great-grandmothers Lia and Giavanna. Stephanie Petit,, "Dwayne Johnson Posts Mother's Day Tribute to 'Main Squeeze' Lauren Hashian: 'Queen It Up'," 14 May 2018 Laurent Brun of the influential hard-left CGT union left the meetings saying the strike was going ahead. Fox News, "French train standoff: Strikes to resume, despite talks," 8 May 2018 The stories took off from there, thanks in part to their appeal among influential women in the courts of England and France. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The Royal Baby's Middle Name Arthur Has a Deep But Dubious History," 27 Apr. 2018 The most influential and well-funded health industry groups, among 20 that spent money lobbying on the 16 bills, are the California Medical Association and the California Hospital Association. Angela Hart, sacbee, "Doctors, nurses, insurance companies spending big to influence California's health care future," 6 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

1 Nov 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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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