of much or great significance or consequence: an important event in world history.
mattering much (usually followed by to ): details important to a fair decision.
entitled to more than ordinary consideration or notice: an important exception.
prominent or large: He played an important part in national politics.
of considerable influence or authority, as a person or position: an important scientist.
having social position or distinction, as a person or family: important guests.
pompous; pretentious: When speaking, he assumes an important attitude that offends his audience.
Obsolete, importunate.

1580–90; < Medieval Latin important- (stem of importāns present participle of importāre to be of consequence, weigh, Latin: to carry in, import), equivalent to im- im-1 + port- port5 + -ant- -ant; see import

importantly, adverb
half-important, adjective
half-importantly, adverb
preimportant, adjective
preimportantly, adverb
quasi-important, adjective
quasi-importantly, adverb
superimportant, adjective
superimportantly, adverb
unimportant, adjective
unimportantly, adverb

Both more important and more importantly occur at the beginning of a sentence in all varieties of standard English: More important (or More importantly), her record as an administrator is unmatched. Today, more importantly is the more common, even though some object to its use on the grounds that more important is an elliptical form of “What is more important” and that the adverb importantly could not occur in such a construction. More importantly probably developed by analogy with other sentence-modifying adverbs, as curiously, fortunately, and regrettably.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
important (ɪmˈpɔːtənt)
adj (usually foll by to)
1.  of great significance or value; outstanding: Voltaire is an important writer
2.  of social significance; notable; eminent; esteemed: an important man in the town
3.  specially relevant or of great concern (to); valued highly (by): your wishes are important to me
4.  an obsolete word for importunate
[C16: from Old Italian importante, from Medieval Latin importāre to signify, be of consequence, from Latin: to carry in; see import]
usage  The use of more importantly as in more importantly, the local council is opposed to this proposal has become very common, but many people still prefer to use more important

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1444, from M.Fr. important, from M.L. importantem (nom. importans), prp. of importare "be significant in," from L. importare "bring in" (see import).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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