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

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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 Paul Lazzaro, the former vice president of marketing and public affairs for The Woodlands Operating Co., and a influential local figure involved with township officials, died this week. Jeff Forward, Houston Chronicle, "Influential local figure Paul Lazzaro remembered as one of a kind," 15 Nov. 2019 Deals like that could become more common if the commission proves to be influential. Wired, "Report: The Government and Tech Need to Cooperate on AI," 5 Nov. 2019 This ubiquity suggests that GRC is more influential than B chromosomes. Kate Wong, Scientific American, "Solving the Mystery of Songbird Diversity," 1 Nov. 2019 Carson’s successor Jay Leno earned better ratings, but younger hosts often have cited Letterman as the most influential. Hal Boedeker,, "National TV Talk Show Host Day: King Carson and many princes," 23 Oct. 2019 Jawar Mohammed is an influential political figure within Ethiopia and within the country's large diaspora communities in North America and Europe. Samuel Getachew And Stephanie Busari, CNN, "Ethiopia's Abiy Ahmed is a favorite to win this year's Nobel Peace Prize. Here's why.," 10 Oct. 2019 All of this demonstrated just how influential New Right ideas and talking points were with Trump. Sylvia Taschka, The Conversation, "Trump’s America shines bright for Europe’s radical New Right," 7 Oct. 2019 The nonprofit group has long been one of the state’s most influential voices on an array of civil rights and social justice issues. oregonlive, "ACLU of Oregon loses second top staffer in 3 months," 1 Oct. 2019 Many early, influential church figures were North African. Joseph Hellweg, Quartz Africa, "Africa’s Catholic Church faces competition and a troubled legacy even as it grows," 12 Sep. 2019

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of influential was in 1570

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Statistics for influential

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Influential.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 11 December 2019.

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More Definitions for influential


How to pronounce influential (audio)

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

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heavy with or as if with moisture

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