piv·​ot·​al | \ ˈpi-və-tᵊl How to pronounce pivotal (audio) \

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 How to pronounce pivotal (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for pivotal


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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 Even before the covid-19 pandemic took hold of our lives, Animal Crossing has played a pivotal role in bonding time between moms and their children. Washington Post, "Mother’s play: Moms and kids connect in Animal Crossing," 8 May 2021 In the midst of all this, full-stack developers are taking a pivotal role in these three types of organizations. Patrick Ostiguy, Forbes, "Digital Transformation And 5G: The Converging Needs Of Telcos, Enterprises And Hyperscalers," 7 May 2021 The river plays a pivotal role, and therefore, inextricably, so do beavers. Lucy Sherriff, oregonlive, "Oregon tribes reintroduce beavers to the Beaver State, but hurdles remain," 1 May 2021 The pivotal game of the 1981 NLCS took place on a cold day in Montreal. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "Greatest moments in Dodger history, No. 17: Rick Monday’s 1981 NLCS home run," 18 Mar. 2021 Smith was ruled out of Sunday’s pivotal game against the New York Giants after not practicing for the second straight week. Jonas Shaffer, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens CB Jimmy Smith ruled out vs. Giants; WR Marquise Brown, DE Calais Campbell questionable," 25 Dec. 2020 The defensive back was angling for a college football scholarship, and his quarantine would force him to miss the pivotal game and a chance to enhance his highlight reel for scouts. Robbie Whelan, WSJ, "Schools Rethink Covid Rules. ‘We’re Over-Quarantining Kids Like Crazy.’," 24 Dec. 2020 The rookie is the third Colt who will miss Sunday’s pivotal game against Tennessee due to COVID-19 concerns. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, "Colts will be even more shorthanded vs. Titans; Jonathan Taylor (COVID list), Ryan Kelly (neck) out, too," 28 Nov. 2020 Indiana’s presence on the schedule as the pivotal game of 2020 has surprised many — almost everyone, really. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Indiana’s Tom Allen on the 21-point spread against Ohio State: ‘I don’t care what anybody says about this stinking game'," 16 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for pivotal

Time Traveler

The first known use of pivotal was in 1838

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Statistics for pivotal

Last Updated

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Pivotal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pivotal. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of pivotal

: very important

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