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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The declaration marks a significant step toward clearing up doubts about the vaccine, after little late-phase clinical trial data was disclosed by the Chinese government and the company. New York Times, "China’s Vaccine Diplomacy Just Got a Big Win. But Can the Country Deliver?," 7 May 2021 This volunteer position could be either Wednesday or Thursday from noon until 2 p.m. Volunteering in the Cupboard requires a significant amount of standing and may require the ability to lift boxes of food donations weighing 20 to 30 pounds., "Community News For The Vernon Edition," 7 May 2021 While a large number of models might be of interest to academics, a much smaller subset will provide significant value to people attempting to gain insight in the real world. David A. Teich, Forbes, "Artificial Intelligence Models For Sale, Another Step In The Spread Of AI Accessibility," 4 May 2021 Facebook made a significant step forward last year when Facebook Messenger and Instagram received cross-app messaging support. Chris Smith, BGR, "Facebook Messenger and Instagram encryption aren’t coming anytime soon," 4 May 2021 That would bring total borrowing this year to $2.28 trillion, a significant amount but down from borrowing last year which totaled $4.01 trillion. Martin Crutsinger, ajc, "Treasury announces plans to borrow $463 billion this quarter," 4 May 2021 Other women lost items of significant sentimental value, according to court documents. oregonlive, "Florida man flew to Portland to break into women’s cars at day cares, parks and gyms, then steal IDs, prosecutor says," 3 May 2021 That would bring total borrowing this year to $2.28 trillion, a significant amount but down from borrowing last year which totaled $4.01 trillion. Martin Crutsinger, Star Tribune, "Treasury announces plans to borrow $463 billion this quarter," 3 May 2021 The 6-5, 234-pound passer took a significant step forward in 2020, throwing for 43 touchdowns en route to being named a Heisman Trophy finalist. Michael Middlehurst-schwartz, USA TODAY, "Buccaneers pick possible Tom Brady successor in Florida QB Kyle Trask during NFL draft," 1 May 2021

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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Statistics for significant

Last Updated

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Significant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for significant



English Language Learners Definition of significant

: large enough to be noticed or have an effect
: very important
: having a special or hidden meaning


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

Comments on significant

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