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[im-pawr-tns] /ɪmˈpɔr tns/
the quality or state of being important; consequence; significance.
important position or standing; personal or social consequence.
consequential air or manner:
an air of bustling importance.
Obsolete. an important matter.
Obsolete, importunity.
Obsolete, import or meaning.
Origin of importance
1495-1505; < Medieval Latin importantia. See important, -ance
Related forms
preimportance, noun
unimportance, noun
Can be confused
importance, impotence (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. moment, weight, concern. Importance, consequence, significance, moment all signify something valuable, influential, or worthy of note. Importance is the most general of these, assigning exceptional or notable value or influence to a person or thing: the importance of Einstein's discoveries. Consequence may suggest outstanding personal quality or position, or it may suggest importance because of results to be produced: a woman of consequence in world affairs; an event of great consequence for our future. Significance can be used interchangeably with importance or consequence, but it carries also the implication of importance that is not readily or immediately recognized: The significance of the discovery only became clear years later. Moment, on the other hand, almost always refers to immediately apparent, self-evident importance: a change of great moment for the nation's political system. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for importance
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But what secrets of importance could they have, dwelling as they did on the Last Chance?

    Murder Point Coningsby Dawson
  • Mrs. Milbrey entered, news of importance visibly animating her.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • His importance to the world lies in the new twist he gave to science.

    A Preface to Politics Walter Lippmann
  • Let us realize the importance of the attitude in which we stand before the world.

  • The last kind of importance is the Arrhindy silk worm, from India.

    Our Common Insects Alpheus Spring Packard
British Dictionary definitions for importance


the state of being important; significance
social status; standing; esteem: a man of importance
  1. meaning or signification
  2. an important matter
  3. importunity
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for importance

c.1500, from Middle French importance or directly from Medieval Latin importantia, from importantem (see important).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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