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


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

With fashion week just around the corner too, the shade expansion comes at a pivotal time. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "MAC Is Now Offering 60 Shades of Foundation," 5 Sep. 2018 Local homeless advocates say the band’s initiative comes at a pivotal time in Seattle’s homelessness debate, following the repeal of the contentious head tax. Michael Rietmulder, The Seattle Times, "Another batch of Pearl Jam Home Shows tickets to be released today," 6 Aug. 2018 The partnership comes at a pivotal time for corporate chat software, with Microsoft ramping up competition with a rival product called Teams that’s immediately available for 135 million Office cloud subscribers. Stefan Etienne, The Verge, "Slack and Hipchat owner Atlassian are teaming up to take on Microsoft Teams," 26 July 2018 The proposals come at a pivotal time for the port and San Diego’s waterfront, where several major hotels and other projects are under construction or in the planning stages. David Garrick, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Public outcry prompts port to shelve looser policy for building wrap ads," 13 July 2018 While the significance of Emmy Awards is somewhat limited to bragging rights and scoring points with the creative community, the end of HBO’s streak comes at a pivotal time in the programmer’s history. John Jurgensen, WSJ, "Netflix Topples HBO in Emmy Nominations," 12 July 2018 Pruitt's resignation comes at a pivotal time for the White House. Fox News, "President Trump faces pivotal days at home and overseas," 6 July 2018 All of this has played into Mr. Putin’s hand at a pivotal time. Andrew E. Kramer, New York Times, "Russia Relaxes, for a Moment, to Let Soccer Fans Rejoice," 2 July 2018 The decision to close early came at a pivotal time. National Geographic, "19 Eel Smugglers Sentenced, But Lucrative Trade Persists," 27 June 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

15 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for pivotal

The first known use of pivotal was in 1838

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English Language Learners Definition of pivotal

: very important

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More from Merriam-Webster on pivotal

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Spanish Central: Translation of pivotal

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Britannica English: Translation of pivotal for Arabic Speakers

Comments on pivotal

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a private place of worship

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