in·​sig·​nif·​i·​cance | \ ˌin(t)-sig-ˈni-fi-kən(t)s How to pronounce insignificance (audio) \

Definition of insignificance

: the quality or state of being insignificant

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Examples of insignificance in a Sentence

a tabloid newspaper devoted to people and events of astonishing insignificance
Recent Examples on the Web The question of the murderer’s identity quickly pales into relative insignificance as the parallel blow of Jonathan’s infidelity hits Grace’s life with more force. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "In The Undoing, a Grisly Murder Rocks High Society Manhattan," 9 Nov. 2020 But these problems pale into insignificance compared with the ones that will confront the Johnson government if, as expected, Joe Biden wins the presidential election on November 3rd. The Economist, "What Joe Biden means for Boris Johnson," 24 Oct. 2020 But once people's confidence in their own skills was used to adjust the outcome, the wage gap shrank to insignificance. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Internalized gender-focused attitudes affect health, career prospects," 19 Nov. 2020 After the second world war the private rental sector (PRS) shrank to insignificance, thanks to the rise of social housing and the subsequent liberalisation of mortgage lending. The Economist, "Housing Generation rent grows up," 29 Aug. 2020 Others, like the incursions into Grenada and Panama, produced nominal successes that the passage of time has reduced to insignificance. Andrew J. Bacevich, The New Republic, "Will 2020 Finally Kill America’s War Fetish?," 9 June 2020 In the same newspaper, Hans-Christof Kraus, a historian at the University of Passau, repeated Clark’s thesis about Wilhelm’s political insignificance, claiming that after 1918 the Hohenzollerns’ reputation was in tatters. David Motadel, The New York Review of Books, "What Do the Hohenzollerns Deserve?," 26 Feb. 2020 Some economists, such as Robert Gordon of Northwestern University, argue that driverless cars, 3D printers and so on pale into insignificance compared with the fruits of previous industrial revolutions, such as mass production (see Free exchange). The Economist, "Emerging economies are experiencing a prolonged productivity slowdown," 18 Jan. 2020 Yet the scene, for all its dramatic insignificance, also sets up a fundamental misogynist dichotomy that’s at the core of the film: the division of women into two camps, mothers and whores. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "The Unintentional Politics of Clint Eastwood’s “Richard Jewell”," 12 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'insignificance.' 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 insignificance

1699, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for insignificance

Time Traveler

The first known use of insignificance was in 1699

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Statistics for insignificance

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Insignificance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for insignificance


in·​sig·​nif·​i·​cance | \ ˌin-sig-ˈni-fi-kəns How to pronounce insignificance (audio) \

Kids Definition of insignificance

: the quality or state of being unimportant

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