pivotal

adjective
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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from pivotal

pivotally \ ˈpi-​və-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce pivotally (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for pivotal

Synonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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 Health experts agree this will be a pivotal moment in determining whether the nation slides into a deeper mess. John Seewer, Anchorage Daily News, "‘Huge bummer’: Fourth of July will test Americans’ discipline during pandemic," 3 July 2020 The investment could intensify questions over Treasury’s handling of hundreds of billions in taxpayer aid at a pivotal moment for the U.S. economy. Jeff Stein, Washington Post, "In unusual deal, U.S. Treasury to acquire 30 percent of trucking company in exchange for $700 million loan," 1 July 2020 Becker’s work came at a pivotal moment in the eating disorders field. Carrie Arnold, STAT, "Among people facing food insecurity, researchers find a hidden health issue: eating disorders," 25 June 2020 Drag artist Nina West says her first Pride was a pivotal moment in her life. Talid Magdi And Leroy Ah-ben, CNN, "Pride during a pandemic: Why visibility and connection still matter," 24 June 2020 Nearly four decades after Chin's death, activists who lived through it describe it as a pivotal moment that crystallized their status as secondary citizens living on the margins of society. NBC News, "Anniversary of Vincent Chin's death relevant in era of 'Kung flu' and COVID-19 blame, experts say," 23 June 2020 For Coates, a pivotal moment of the past few weeks came when officials initially failed to act against the officer who kneeled on George Floyd’s neck. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "After Juneteenth," 20 June 2020 This year's Juneteenth celebration comes at a pivotal moment in the United States. Staff, The Indianapolis Star, "People gather at Indianapolis-area events to commemorate Juneteenth," 19 June 2020 But Dunn said the court should take up its full case at some point before November to give voters clarity before a pivotal election. James Barragán, Dallas News, "Texas Democrats ask Supreme Court to expand mail voting," 16 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of pivotal

1838, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about pivotal

Time Traveler for pivotal

Time Traveler

The first known use of pivotal was in 1838

See more words from the same year

Statistics for pivotal

Last Updated

9 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pivotal.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pivotal. Accessed 10 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for pivotal

pivotal

adjective
How to pronounce pivotal (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pivotal

: very important

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on pivotal

What made you want to look up pivotal? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!