Definition of significant in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /siɡˈnifikənt/


1Sufficiently great or important to be worthy of attention; noteworthy: a significant increase in sales
More example sentences
  • This work was little known about at the time but it has since emerged how significant this work proved to be.
  • The next significant study of perfect numbers was made by Nicomachus of Gerasa.
  • The nurses want a significant increase in their flat fee for agreeing to be on call.
notable, noteworthy, worthy of attention, remarkable, important, of importance, of consequence, signal;
serious, crucial, weighty, momentous, epoch-making, uncommon, unusual, rare, extraordinary, exceptional, special
formal of moment
2Having a particular meaning; indicative of something: in times of stress her dreams seemed to her especially significant
More example sentences
  • For Fagan, the next few weeks promise to be the most significant of her year.
  • Empires from Rome to Carthage fought over this most significant of nautical prizes.
  • Most significant of all, we felt, was that so many divers were keen enough to queue up to have their fitness checked.
2.1Suggesting a meaning or message that is not explicitly stated: she gave him a significant look
More example sentences
  • Downstairs, Martha gives Margaretha a significant look, upon which she rises and excuses herself to her guests, who leave.
  • 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.
3 Statistics Relating to or having significance.
Example sentences
  • Just as for the acentrics, group and radiation dose were statistically significant predictors.
  • We considered a P value of less than 0.05 to be statistical significant in all comparisons.
  • All of these physiological parameters showed significant differences statistically.


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

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.