pivotal

adjective
piv·​ot·​al | \ ˈpi-və-tᵊl \

Definition of pivotal

1 : of, relating to, or constituting a pivot
2 : vitally important : critical

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Other Words from pivotal

pivotally \ ˈpi-​və-​tᵊl-​ē \ adverb

Synonyms for pivotal

Synonyms

critical, crucial, key, vital

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Examples of pivotal in a Sentence

She is at a pivotal point in her career. the report was missing a pivotal piece of information

Recent Examples on the Web

Mattis’s legacy is somewhat mixed, but his departure feels like a pivotal moment in the Trump administration. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Mattis’s resignation was a scathing indictment of Trump’s foreign policy," 21 Dec. 2018 Neil Simon A pivotal, Pulitzer-winning playwright who gave American theatre such classics as The Odd Couple and Barefoot in the Park, Simon died in August at age 91. Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "In Memoriam: All of the Celebrities, Politicians, and Notable People Who Died in 2018," 13 Dec. 2018 Missouri was a pivotal swing state in the battle for the Senate, and Hawley's victory helped Republicans expand their slim Senate majority. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Newly elected Republican senator could be Google’s fiercest critic," 24 Nov. 2018 The journey of higher education is an incredible, impactful, and pivotal one. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle's First Royal Tour Speech Was an Emotional Call for Female Empowerment," 24 Oct. 2018 The journey of higher education is an incredible, impactful, and pivotal one. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle's First Speech on the Royal Tour Centered Around the Importance of Women's Education," 24 Oct. 2018 Downtown, a $57 million, state-of-the art school of data science will soon open, one of a score of pivotal developments reshaping the city’s core. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "San Antonio, the nation’s fastest-growing city, sees downtown rebound," 23 Oct. 2018 Patrushev and Bolton also discussed a possible five-year extension of another pivotal arms control agreement between Russia and the U.S. — the New START Treaty that went into force in 2011 and is set to expire in 2021, the statement said. Fox News, "Treaty exits and extensions top Trump adviser's Moscow talks," 23 Oct. 2018 Innovation is always a reaction to the past, and rumination is a pivotal part of the process. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What October's Libra Horoscope Means for You," 30 Sep. 2018

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

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Statistics for pivotal

Last Updated

11 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for pivotal

The first known use of pivotal was in 1838

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More Definitions for pivotal

pivotal

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of pivotal

: very important

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More from Merriam-Webster on pivotal

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pivotal

Spanish Central: Translation of pivotal

Nglish: Translation of pivotal for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of pivotal for Arabic Speakers

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