piv·​ot·​al ˈpi-və-tᵊl How to pronounce pivotal (audio)
: of, relating to, or constituting a pivot
: vitally important : critical
pivotally adverb

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 This pivotal development marks a significant milestone in the industrialization of high-tension battery packs designed specifically for Vision Marine's innovative electric boating solutions. Kansas City Star, 3 Apr. 2024 In a pivotal election year, U.S. democracy continues to face a persistent challenge among the country's electorate — gaps in voter registration rates between white eligible voters and eligible voters of color. Hansi Lo Wang, NPR, 2 Apr. 2024 Moments later, Norwood offered that public forgiveness in what became a pivotal moment in the overall debate over Blevins’ past. Ashley Killough, CNN, 2 Apr. 2024 There was a pivotal moment between Tori Spelling and Dean McDermott that pushed her toward filing for divorce. Dory Jackson, Peoplemag, 1 Apr. 2024 For instance, both the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation played pivotal roles in catalyzing the Green Agricultural Revolution of the 20th century. Michael Sheldrick, Forbes, 30 Mar. 2024 The bill passed the state’s Assembly public safety committee in March, but failed to pass out of the pivotal appropriations committee last month. Ryan Lillis, Sacramento Bee, 29 Mar. 2024 Her pivotal invention, though, wasn’t the formula, but rather her business model: mass marketing luxury skincare. The Editors, Robb Report, 28 Mar. 2024 For the Jayhawks, ensuring this duo doesn’t get going is pivotal. Shreyas Laddha, Kansas City Star, 23 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'pivotal.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of pivotal was in 1838

Dictionary Entries Near pivotal

Cite this Entry

“Pivotal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pivotal. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


piv·​ot·​al ˈpiv-ət-ᵊl How to pronounce pivotal (audio)
: of, relating to, or functioning as a pivot
: extremely important : critical
a pivotal discovery
pivotally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on pivotal

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