significant

adjective
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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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 second-largest deal in baseball history signified a significant shift in direction for the Padres. John Marshall, The Seattle Times, "Padres buzzing over impending arrival of Manny Machado," 20 Feb. 2019 But since the Parkland shooting, Congress has taken no significant steps to address gun violence. German Lopez, Vox, "I’ve covered gun violence for years. The solutions aren’t a big mystery.," 14 Feb. 2019 The significant cost increase more likely comes from a company’s sustainability and fair-labor practices throughout the supply and production chain — which, Nodarse says, is worth it. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "Your Yoga Pants Are Polluting the Water You Drink," 19 Dec. 2018 And nearly every urban area faces significant risk, especially the 90 percent of coastal urban areas looking at a future of increased flooding and rising sea levels. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As cities confront climate change, is density the answer?," 11 Dec. 2018 One private call-blocking app provider clocks them at around 147 million per day in the United States, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and FCC have seen a significant increase in consumer complaints in the past few years. Colin Lecher, The Verge, "Why robocalls have taken over your phone," 7 Nov. 2018 Bell’s experience with the franchise was a significant factor in his favor. Joe Kay, The Seattle Times, "Family affair: Rebuilding Reds pick David Bell to lead them," 22 Oct. 2018 This year, 133 world leaders have signed up to attend the General Assembly session which ends on Oct. 1, a significant increase from the 114 leaders last year. Fox News, "UN to caution against populism in high-level week," 25 Sep. 2018 The number of deaths is worrisome and significant, said Dr. Redfield. Betsy Mckay, WSJ, "This Common Flu Virus Is a Growing Threat," 14 Feb. 2019

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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Statistics for significant

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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 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.

significant

adjective
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

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Comments on significant

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