significant

adjective
sig·nif·i·cant | \sig-ˈni-fi-kənt \

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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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Webworms don't do enough damage to be significant, unless a plant is small. Ellen Nibali, baltimoresun.com, "Garden Q&A: Be wary of the 'bathtub effect'," 12 July 2018 Income inequality across racial groups persist In addition to growing income gaps within races, income inequality between racial groups remains a significant problem. David Carrig, USA TODAY, "Study: Asians displace blacks as most economically divided group," 12 July 2018 The position is one of the most significant in the Justice Department, with the assistant attorney general having oversight of criminal cases involving public corruption, financial fraud, computer hacking, drug trafficking and other major crimes. NBC News, "Senate confirms Brian Benczkowski, justice official who worked for Russian bank," 11 July 2018 Yes, a team can still offer more to retain players than other teams can offer—but the difference, while significant, is limited. Michael Rosenberg, SI.com, "One Big Question Must Be Answered Before the NBA Can Correct Its Competitive Balance," 10 July 2018 Most significant, the consultant brought in to manage Yanukovych’s campaign was the same one who managed Trump’s six years later: Paul Manafort. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?," 8 July 2018 That can be significant, given that turnout figures often are low; in fact, only one in six registered Philadelphians actually voted in May’s primary election. Jonathan Lai, Philly.com, "Online voter registration in Pa., three years in: More than 1 in 5 voters register online," 12 July 2018 An increase of 10 percent is significant, especially on systems with 4GB of RAM or less. Tom Warren, The Verge, "Chrome now uses more RAM because of Spectre security fixes," 12 July 2018 The fact that bones were found on land is significant, since whales are often processed on the water. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Romans May Have Hunted Whales to Extinction in Their Home Waters," 11 July 2018

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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Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for significant

The first known use of significant was in 1579

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More Definitions for significant

significant

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of significant

: large enough to be noticed or have an effect

: very important

: having a special or hidden meaning

significant

adjective
sig·nif·i·cant | \sig-ˈni-fi-kənt \

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.

significant

adjective
sig·nif·i·cant | \sig-ˈnif-i-kənt \

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

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