Definition of pivotal in English:



  • 1Of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else.

    ‘Japan's pivotal role in the world economy’
    • ‘The point behind today's post is that customer service is pivotal to the success of any business.’
    • ‘We want it to play that pivotal role.’
    • ‘We golfers, on the other hand, enjoy a year-round sport in which the knees play a crucial, if not pivotal, role.’
    • ‘Which is why today's trip to Aberdeen could prove pivotal come the end of the season.’
    • ‘Before retiring in 1990, he was at the forefront of some of file most pivotal moments in American history.’
    • ‘Bennett is a potentially pivotal figure in the offense.’
    • ‘The heroic performance of Ben and his twin brother Jerry was absolutely pivotal to that success.’
    • ‘Highlighted information helps to emphasise important issues or pivotal points in a developing argument.’
    • ‘Both men were pivotal figures in the golden age of the Hollywood studio system.’
    • ‘The even more pivotal figure Tony Blair will have to wrestle with is himself.’
    • ‘The Rutherford Lab lecture turned out to be a pivotal event in theoretical physics.’
    • ‘He's not cited a single instance in which the Patriot Act has proved pivotal in averting terrorism.’
    • ‘The home-field advantage has proved pivotal in at least one direct match-up.’
    • ‘Researchers claim the findings could be pivotal in developing anti-bullying strategies in Scottish schools.’
    • ‘Nobody does so much, so often in so pivotal a position.’
    • ‘She had a pivotal scene the next day and he wanted her well rested.’
    • ‘The work of Russell Bishop on the role of the teacher is absolutely pivotal.’
    • ‘The media play a pivotal role in shaping American perceptions of events in Korea.’
    • ‘In this situation the role of the Communist Party has become pivotal.’
    • ‘One of his offseason moves will play a pivotal role in determining his early success.’
    central, crucial, vital, critical, focal, essential, key, significant, important, determining, decisive, deciding
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  • 2Fixed on or as if on a pivot.

    ‘a sliding or pivotal motion’