significant other


Definition of significant other 

: a person who is important to one's well-being especially : a spouse or one in a similar relationship

Examples of significant other in a Sentence

Before you make such an important decision, you should talk it over with your significant other. she has threatened to divorce her significant other if he doesn't stop gambling

Recent Examples on the Web

Kim’s grandfather and father both had multiple significant others, and personal matters involving members of the Kim family are treated with the utmost discretion by the North’s propaganda machine. Washington Post, "Kim Jong Un turns to his wife and sister to soften his image," 18 Apr. 2018 His significant other, Marcie Sherman, hopes the phone rings sooner. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "Ben Davis teacher must 'get sicker' before he can get new liver," 4 Apr. 2018 Her husband, Alton (Chief) Langford, son, Glenn Langford, and significant other John (Jay) Bora, precede her in death., "Deaths in South Florida: 7/11," 11 July 2018 Samantha Busch is probably the most active significant other of a NASCAR driver on social media — especially during a race. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "How Samantha Busch runs one of the best Twitter accounts in NASCAR," 5 July 2018 Nude photos are banned as well as posts that may harm a significant other’s professional reputation. Ana Veciana-suarez, miamiherald, "Prenuptial agreements with a social media clause are on the rise," 11 June 2018 Though your significant other’s bank account may like the cheaper price, there is a downside to gemstones. Southern Living, "Diamond (Alternatives) Are A Girl's Best Friend," 19 Apr. 2018 Current policy also states the district would not hire the spouse or cohabiting significant other of the superintendent. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel Schools looks to restrict romantic relationships after superintendent resignation," 20 Mar. 2018 They’re filled with seemingly innocuous snippets about work, quick funny anecdotes, pep talks, and a healthy dose of screenshots of messages from significant others. Carly Breit, Marie Claire, "Group Chats Are the Worst," 15 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'significant other.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of significant other

1940, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about significant other

Share significant other

Statistics for significant other

Last Updated

17 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for significant other

The first known use of significant other was in 1940

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for significant other

significant other


English Language Learners Definition of significant other

: someone that you have a romantic relationship with : your husband, wife, boyfriend, or girlfriend

significant other

significant oth·er | \ -ˈət͟h-ər \

Medical Definition of significant other 

: a person who is important to one's well-being especially : a spouse or one in a similar relationship

More from Merriam-Webster on significant other

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for significant other

Comments on significant other

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


to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!