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[piv-uh-tl] /ˈpɪv ə tl/
of, relating to, or serving as a pivot.
of vital or critical importance:
a pivotal event.
Origin of pivotal
1835-45; pivot + -al1
Related forms
pivotally, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pivotal
  • They can be pivotal in the match or as unimportant as your appendix.
  • Some of the most pivotal battlefield innovations throughout history began as peacetime inventions.
  • Cook's visit was the pivotal moment in Hawaiian history.
  • It was a pivotal career moment for me.
  • It is truly a pivotal time to influence the direction of society with energy infrastructure as the key.
  • The way an institution/organization responds to a job applicant is pivotal.
  • One only wishes that Greta—the novel's pivotal character—were not quite so cloying.
  • Education is pivotal in resolving Brazil's corruption and unequal development.
  • They are proud to contribute to such a pivotal venture.
  • On the summer-basketball circuit, he was no less pivotal, and no less scrutinized.
British Dictionary definitions for pivotal


of, involving, or acting as a pivot
of crucial importance
Derived Forms
pivotally, adverb
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 pivotal

1844, in figurative sense, from pivot (n.) + -al (1).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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