sig·​nif·​i·​cant | \ sig-ˈni-fi-kənt How to pronounce significant (audio) \

Definition of significant

1 : having meaning especially : suggestive a significant glance
2a : having or likely to have influence or effect : important a significant piece of legislation also : of a noticeably or measurably large amount a significant number of layoffs producing significant profits
b : probably caused by something other than mere chance statistically significant correlation between vitamin deficiency and disease

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Synonyms & Antonyms for significant



  • unexpressive
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Examples of significant in a Sentence

Historians of ancient gender have seen this as crucially significant. Women in antiquity were by definition so disempowered that the authority of a new female ruler could only be captured by representing her in the guise of a man. Or so the argument goes. — Mary Beard, New York Review of Books, 12 Feb. 2009 While Congress will take a significant role in designing new regulation and is not likely to rubber-stamp the administration's proposals, momentum is strong for the creation of comprehensive financial reform. — Marc I. Seltzer et al., Commonweal, 19 June 2009 A new study on women and the media from the University of Missouri-Columbia shows that overweight women and women with eating disorders are not the only ones negatively affected by unrealistic advertisements (as previous studies have indicated). After viewing images of models, women of all sizes reported a significant decrease in satisfaction with their weight, hair, physical shape and sexual attractiveness. Ms., Summer 2007 One of [Charles] Darwin's most extraordinary qualities was his ability to recognize when a scientific question could not be answered because of the limitations of the science of his day. He knew, for instance, that during his lifetime, no significant progress would be made on the question of how life began. — Amy Stewart, Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2004 A significant number of customers complained about the service. He won a significant amount of money. There is a significant difference in prices between the two stores. The study found a statistically significant decrease in symptoms in patients who had taken the drug. a significant event in the history of our nation Fish is a significant part of their diet. It is significant that she never mentioned him. He gave us a significant wink. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The official predicted that the next coronavirus wave in the United States would begin this summer in the South, with a significant number of infections as people move indoors to escape the heat. Arkansas Online, 8 May 2022 The recent spikes in the cost of housing in San Diego and increased opportunities to work remotely will cause a significant number of county residents to relocate. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, 6 May 2022 The official predicted the next coronavirus wave in the United States would begin this summer in the South, with a significant number of infections as people move indoors to escape the heat. Sheryl Gay Stolberg, New York Times, 6 May 2022 The pandemic has frightened many people away from public transportation; to meet its targets, the city will now need to lure a significant number of riders back. Nick Romeo, The New Yorker, 4 May 2022 Still, the significant number of Hartford students whose first choice is to attend a suburban school is worth considering in the first application cycle in the post-Sheff era. Seamus Mcavoy, Hartford Courant, 3 May 2022 If humans that have been making the patterned upon decisions have been incorporating untoward biases, the odds are that the data reflects this in subtle but significant ways. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Ukraine has been somewhat more forthcoming, acknowledging a significant number of dead and wounded among its troops. Laura King, Los Angeles Times, 30 Apr. 2022 Moscow has also shifted a significant number of troops from Mariupol to other combat zones, a senior U.S. defense official said, though some Ukrainian forces are still holding out in the Black Sea port city despite weeks of bombardment. Washington Post, 29 Apr. 2022 See More

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

1579, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for significant

Latin significant-, significans, present participle of significare to signify

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Time Traveler for significant

Time Traveler

The first known use of significant was in 1579

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Dictionary Entries Near significant



significant digit

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Statistics for significant

Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Significant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for significant


sig·​nif·​i·​cant | \ sig-ˈni-fi-kənt How to pronounce significant (audio) \

Kids Definition of significant

1 : having a special or hidden meaning The teacher gave them a significant smile.
2 : important sense 1 These changes are significant.
3 : large enough to be noticed He donated a significant amount of money.


sig·​nif·​i·​cant | \ sig-ˈnif-i-kənt How to pronounce significant (audio) \

Medical Definition of significant

: probably caused by something other than mere chance a statistically significant correlation between diet and disease

Other Words from significant

significantly adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on significant

Nglish: Translation of significant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of significant for Arabic Speakers


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