Why was clemency trending last week?


[sig-nif-i-kuh nt] /sɪgˈnɪf ɪ kənt/
important; of consequence.
having or expressing a meaning; indicative; suggestive:
a significant wink.
Statistics. of or relating to observations that are unlikely to occur by chance and that therefore indicate a systematic cause.
something significant; a sign.
Origin of significant
1570-80; < Latin significant- (stem of significāns), present participle of significāre to signify; see -ant
Related forms
significantly, adverb
nonsignificant, adjective
nonsignificantly, adverb
supersignificant, adjective
supersignificantly, adverb
unsignificant, adjective
unsignificantly, adverb
1. consequential, momentous, weighty. 2. See expressive. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for significant
  • Yet even this was so significant of current thought, and helped so greatly to form public opinion, that it must not be forgotten.
  • Wherever it is prominent it contains the hallucinatory reproduction of a memory which was significant for the hysterical onset.
  • He chooses his characters because they embody concretely and so exemplify the conception he has formed of a significant situation.
  • There is still a third cause for the rise of this nonsignificant form, or rather of non-significant differences of form.
  • Every sentence is doubly significant, and the sense of our author is as broad as the world.
  • Other early engravings are more fantastic and less significant of cruelty.
  • The half-shut lids are even more suggestive and significant of strange thaumaturgic powers.
  • None but the pickiest churl could find a significant omission in this compilation.
  • No people were injured, but the deaths were a significant loss to the small animal population.
  • Maybe the more significant question should be a comparison of the safety of the two sports.
British Dictionary definitions for significant


having or expressing a meaning; indicative
having a covert or implied meaning; suggestive
important, notable, or momentous
(statistics) of or relating to a difference between a result derived from a hypothesis and its observed value that is too large to be attributed to chance and that therefore tends to refute the hypothesis
Derived Forms
significantly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin significāre to signify
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 significant

1570s, "having a meaning," from Latin significantem (nominative significans, present participle of significare "make known, indicate" (see signify). Earlier in the same sense was significative (c.1400). Often "having a special or secret meaning," hence "important" (1761). Related: Significantly. Significant figure is from 1680s. Significant other (n.) attested by 1961, in psychology, "the most influential other person in the patient's world."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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