- Signifying something; carrying meaning.
- Synonym: meaningful
- a significant word or sound
- a significant look
- Having a covert or hidden meaning.
- Having a noticeable or major effect.
- Synonym: notable
- That was a significant step in the right direction.
- The First World War was a significant event.
- 2015, Shane R. Reeves; David Wallace, “The Combatant Status of the “Little Green Men” and Other Participants in the Ukraine Conflict”, in International Law Studies, US Naval War College, volume 91, number 361, Stockton Center for the Study of International Law, page 393:
- The “little green men”—faces covered, wearing unmarked olive uniforms, speaking Russian and using Russian weapons—have played a significant role in both the occupation of Crimea and the civil war in eastern Ukraine.196
- Reasonably large in number or amount.
- (statistics) Having a low probability of occurring by chance (for example, having high correlation and thus likely to be related).
- This word may be ambiguous in some situations. In formal writing, care should be taken with comments such as "the difference is significant," because it is not clear without contextual clues whether significant modifies the certainty that there is any difference ("notable"), or the difference itself ("large in number or amount"). A baldness cure that reliably adds three hairs on average has a significant but small effect in research parlance, and there's a tendency for "significant" to find its way into advertising copy. In some such situations, large and other synonyms may be used in its place.
signifying something; carrying meaning
having noticeable effect
statistics: having a low probability of occurring by chance
significant (plural significants)
- That which has significance; a sign; a token; a symbol.
- 1591 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The First Part of Henry the Sixt”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act II, scene iv]:
- In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts.
- a. 1850, William Wordsworth, The Egyptian Maid
- And in my glass significants there are
- present participle of significar