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 Dictionary entry overview: What does significant mean? 

SIGNIFICANT (adjective)
  The adjective SIGNIFICANT has 4 senses:

1. important in effect or meaning
2. fairly large
3. too closely correlated to be attributed to chance and therefore indicating a systematic relation
4. rich in significance or implication

  Familiarity information: SIGNIFICANT used as an adjective is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 

SIGNIFICANT (adjective)

Sense 1significant [BACK TO TOP]


Important in effect or meaning


significant; important

Context examples:

a significant change in tax laws / a significant change in the Constitution / a significant contribution / significant details / statistically significant


portentous; prodigious (of momentous or ominous significance)

key; operative (effective; producing a desired effect)

probative; probatory (tending to prove a particular proposition or to persuade you of the truth of an allegation)

noteworthy; remarkable (worthy of notice)

monumental (of outstanding significance)

large (fairly large or important in effect; influential)

fundamental; profound (far-reaching and thoroughgoing in effect especially on the nature of something)

evidential; evidentiary (serving as or based on evidence)

earthshaking; world-shaking; world-shattering (sufficiently significant to affect the whole world)

epoch-making; epochal (highly significant or important especially bringing about or marking the beginning of a new development or era)

momentous (of very great significance)


meaningful (having a meaning or purpose)

important; of import (of great significance or value)


significance (the quality of being significant)


insignificant (not important or noteworthy)

Sense 2significant [BACK TO TOP]


Fairly large


substantial; significant

Context example:

won by a substantial margin


considerable (large or relatively large in number or amount or extent or degree)

Sense 3significant [BACK TO TOP]


Too closely correlated to be attributed to chance and therefore indicating a systematic relation

Context examples:

the interaction effect is significant at the .01 level / no significant difference was found

Domain category:

statistics (a branch of applied mathematics concerned with the collection and interpretation of quantitative data and the use of probability theory to estimate population parameters)


nonsignificant (attributable to chance)

Sense 4significant [BACK TO TOP]


Rich in significance or implication


meaning; pregnant; significant

Context examples:

a meaning look / pregnant with meaning


meaningful (having a meaning or purpose)

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"He who leaves and then returns, had a good trip." (Corsican proverb)

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