Definition of significant in US English:

significant

adjective

  • 1Sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy.

    ‘a significant increase in sales’
    • ‘This has the makings of a very significant case of very considerable legal importance.’
    • ‘The nurses want a significant increase in their flat fee for agreeing to be on call.’
    • ‘This work was little known about at the time but it has since emerged how significant this work proved to be.’
    • ‘Max's published work, as significant and substantial as it is, is not what we will remember him by.’
    • ‘The appeal raises a point of some general importance and concerns a significant sum.’
    • ‘There is no doubt that this was a serious injury with significant orthopaedic and cosmetic consequences.’
    • ‘One of the most significant demographic changes was the decline of infant mortality at the turn of the century.’
    • ‘This could be the only significant side effect possibly related to the product use.’
    • ‘Rap, jazz and so called world music have seen significant increases in CD sales in the past few years.’
    • ‘We thought it only fitting that we do something quite significant for humanity.’
    • ‘Bernoulli was one of the most significant promoters of the formal methods of higher analysis.’
    • ‘It is important to understand just how significant this new idea was.’
    • ‘The next significant study of perfect numbers was made by Nicomachus of Gerasa.’
    • ‘Weldon asked the questions that drove Pearson to some of his most significant contributions.’
    • ‘They have achieved international publicity and significant sales in every continent.’
    • ‘Yet the British music scene has always been an early indicator of significant social and political change.’
    • ‘A rise in temperature of this kind would have a significant effect on the distribution of vegetation.’
    • ‘If the problem is difficult enough, a theorem like this can be a significant achievement.’
    • ‘At present there seems to be a significant disparity in the statistics that are being reported.’
    • ‘Although he was not a prolific writer, his work had a significant impact and is still of considerable interest.’
    notable, noteworthy, worthy of attention, remarkable, outstanding, important, of importance, of consequence, consequential
    View synonyms
  • 2Having a particular meaning; indicative of something.

    ‘in times of stress her dreams seemed to her especially significant’
    • ‘But Gordon Brown had a new and highly significant message for his American audience.’
    • ‘These statements may have been symbolic, but the symbolism was highly significant in the context.’
    • ‘It is not intelligence, it is information, and that, I think, is a significant point.’
    • ‘The data indicate that ethnicity is a significant factor in the development and course of the disease.’
    • ‘But symbolically, heading off to cover the conference is hugely significant for me.’
    • ‘Use Mediamancy to derive significant messages from billboards and shop names.’
    • ‘It is significant that this weighty information is not revealed to the reader.’
    • ‘Almost every significant word seems to suggest a corresponding image in sound.’
    • ‘The national flower is the ceibo and the most symbolically significant tree is the ombu.’
    • ‘Is it possible that certain expressions of hybridity are more significant than others?’
    • ‘So how come the most prevalent symbol of this monumentally significant festival is the chocolate egg?’
    • ‘The walls are covered with photographs marking significant moments in Wood Group's history.’
    • ‘Empires from Rome to Carthage fought over this most significant of nautical prizes.’
    • ‘For Fagan, the next few weeks promise to be the most significant of her year.’
    • ‘Yes, but these disappearing acts are significant because they are symbolic of a wider truth.’
    • ‘As for adultery, it is significant that Santorum suggests it should be treated as a crime.’
    • ‘Ceres is the symbol of authority and it is significant also that she is goddess of the harvest and fecundity.’
    • ‘In measuring that weakness, his sexual misbehaviour is more symbolic than significant.’
    • ‘Most significant of all, we felt, was that so many divers were keen enough to queue up to have their fitness checked.’
    • ‘Naming newborn children is always a very meaningful and significant issue for a family.’
    1. 2.1 Suggesting a meaning or message that is not explicitly stated.
      ‘she gave him a significant look’
      • ‘At all times and in all hours they were in deep consultation and Margarot was observed to say to Campbell, with a significant wink, "keep an eye on the old gentleman", meaning me.’
      • ‘Downstairs, Martha gives Margaretha a significant look, upon which she rises and excuses herself to her guests, who leave.’
      meaningful, expressive, eloquent, informative, revealing, indicative, suggestive, symbolic, relevant, pregnant, knowing, telling, pithy, valid, purposeful
      View synonyms
  • 3Statistics
    Relating to or having significance.

    • ‘Just as for the acentrics, group and radiation dose were statistically significant predictors.’
    • ‘All of these physiological parameters showed significant differences statistically.’
    • ‘When we found the effect of sex to be statistically significant we regressed the male and female data separately.’
    • ‘We considered a P value of less than 0.05 to be statistical significant in all comparisons.’
    • ‘The first study fell short of showing a statistically significant benefit.’

Origin

Late 16th century (in significant (sense 2)): from Latin significant- ‘indicating’, from the verb significare (see signify).

Pronunciation

significant

/siɡˈnifikənt//sɪɡˈnɪfɪkənt/