Definition of pivotal in US English:



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

    ‘the alliance that played a pivotal role in the revolution’
    • ‘Bennett is a potentially pivotal figure in the offense.’
    • ‘He's not cited a single instance in which the Patriot Act has proved pivotal in averting terrorism.’
    • ‘Which is why today's trip to Aberdeen could prove pivotal come the end of the season.’
    • ‘Highlighted information helps to emphasise important issues or pivotal points in a developing argument.’
    • ‘The Rutherford Lab lecture turned out to be a pivotal event in theoretical physics.’
    • ‘One of his offseason moves will play a pivotal role in determining his early success.’
    • ‘Before retiring in 1990, he was at the forefront of some of file most pivotal moments in American history.’
    • ‘The home-field advantage has proved pivotal in at least one direct match-up.’
    • ‘The even more pivotal figure Tony Blair will have to wrestle with is himself.’
    • ‘The work of Russell Bishop on the role of the teacher is absolutely pivotal.’
    • ‘In this situation the role of the Communist Party has become pivotal.’
    • ‘The media play a pivotal role in shaping American perceptions of events in Korea.’
    • ‘The heroic performance of Ben and his twin brother Jerry was absolutely pivotal to that success.’
    • ‘The point behind today's post is that customer service is pivotal to the success of any business.’
    • ‘Both men were pivotal figures in the golden age of the Hollywood studio system.’
    • ‘Researchers claim the findings could be pivotal in developing anti-bullying strategies in Scottish schools.’
    • ‘We want it to play that pivotal role.’
    • ‘Nobody does so much, so often in so pivotal a position.’
    • ‘We golfers, on the other hand, enjoy a year-round sport in which the knees play a crucial, if not pivotal, role.’
    • ‘She had a pivotal scene the next day and he wanted her well rested.’
    central, crucial, vital, critical, focal, essential, key, significant, important, determining, decisive, deciding
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Fixed on or as if on a pivot.
      ‘a sliding or pivotal motion’