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’
    • ‘We golfers, on the other hand, enjoy a year-round sport in which the knees play a crucial, if not pivotal, role.’
    • ‘The point behind today's post is that customer service is pivotal to the success of any business.’
    • ‘Bennett is a potentially pivotal figure in the offense.’
    • ‘Which is why today's trip to Aberdeen could prove pivotal come the end of the season.’
    • ‘The media play a pivotal role in shaping American perceptions of events in Korea.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He's not cited a single instance in which the Patriot Act has proved pivotal in averting terrorism.’
    • ‘The even more pivotal figure Tony Blair will have to wrestle with is himself.’
    • ‘One of his offseason moves will play a pivotal role in determining his early success.’
    • ‘Researchers claim the findings could be pivotal in developing anti-bullying strategies in Scottish schools.’
    • ‘We want it to play that pivotal role.’
    • ‘The home-field advantage has proved pivotal in at least one direct match-up.’
    • ‘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 Rutherford Lab lecture turned out to be a pivotal event in theoretical physics.’
    • ‘The heroic performance of Ben and his twin brother Jerry was absolutely pivotal to that success.’
    • ‘Nobody does so much, so often in so pivotal a position.’
    • ‘In this situation the role of the Communist Party has become pivotal.’
    • ‘Before retiring in 1990, he was at the forefront of some of file most pivotal moments in American history.’
    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’