sig·​nif·​i·​cance | \ sig-ˈni-fi-kən(t)s \

Definition of significance

1a : something that is conveyed as a meaning often obscurely or indirectly
b : the quality of conveying or implying
2a : the quality of being important : moment
b : the quality of being statistically significant

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Choose the Right Synonym for significance

importance, consequence, moment, weight, significance mean a quality or aspect having great worth or significance. importance implies a value judgment of the superior worth or influence of something or someone. a region with no cities of importance consequence generally implies importance because of probable or possible effects. the style you choose is of little consequence moment implies conspicuous or self-evident consequence. a decision of great moment weight implies a judgment of the immediate relative importance of something. the argument carried no weight with the judge significance implies a quality or character that should mark a thing as important but that is not self-evident and may or may not be recognized. the treaty's significance

Examples of significance in a Sentence

The discovery has great significance to researchers. His age is of little significance. This building should be preserved because of its historical significance. Does the ceremony have any religious significance? Her work has a significance that will last beyond her lifetime. I failed to understand the significance of her remarks. Does the date March 16 have some special significance to you? People in ancient times assigned a particular significance to the number seven.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Investors parse jobs reports for clues on the health of the U.S. economy and for their significance to Fed policy, which has given many cause for concern in recent months. David Hodari, WSJ, "U.S. Stocks Surge on Powell Remarks, Jobs Report," 4 Jan. 2019 People quickly realized the power of deep convolutional networks The AlexNet paper was a sensation in the academic machine learning community, but its significance was also quickly recognized in industry. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How computers got shockingly good at recognizing images," 18 Dec. 2018 The gravestones remain there today, accompanied by a sign that explains their significance in English and German. Emanuella Grinberg, Smithsonian, "When a Bavarian Monastery Provided a Home to Jewish Refugees," 11 July 2018 Still, few parkgoers seem to recognize its significance. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "‘Turn out your dead!’ In America’s War for Independence, POWs paid a terrible price.," 4 July 2018 Scott himself said that people from his part of the country don't even know what the James Beard Award is, let alone its significance. Stephanie Barna, The Christian Science Monitor, "South Carolina pitmaster breaks mold as James Beard winner," 21 May 2018 Earlier in the week, legendary trainers Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lukas weighed in on the importance of keeping the Preakness at Pimlico because of its historical significance and current importance to the city of Baltimore. Peter Schmuck,, "Schmuck: Justify lives up to the billing and brightens an otherwise dismal Preakness Day," 20 May 2018 Larry Thompson, Vice Chairman, Depository Trust & Clearing, joined Juliette Saly and Doug Krizner to discuss LEI, or Legal Entity Identifiers, changing MiFID II regulations and their significance in Asia., "Legal Entity Identifiers Soon to be Required by MiFID II," 25 Apr. 2018 When the disinformation problem first came to light, Zuckerberg had dismissed its significance. Verne Kopytoff, Fortune, "What Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Can Learn From Other Tech Leaders Hauled Before Congress," 9 Apr. 2018

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

17 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for significance

The first known use of significance was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of significance

: the quality of being important : the quality of having notable worth or influence

: the meaning of something


sig·​nif·​i·​cance | \ sig-ˈni-fi-kəns \

Kids Definition of significance

1 : meaning sense 2 What is the significance of the ribbon she's wearing?
2 : importance It's a subject of some significance.

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Comments on significance

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


to gather or build up little by little

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