importance


importance
importance, consequence, moment, weight, significance, import are comparable when they denote the quality or the character or the state of someone or something that impresses others as of great or sometimes eminent worth, value, or influence.
Importance, probably the most inclusive of these terms, implies a judgment of the mind by which superior value or influence is ascribed to a person or thing
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there are no cities of importance in this state

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he always attaches importance to what seem to others trivial events

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tradition gives importance to the study of the classics

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hence flowers come to assume [in Oriental art] ... an importance equal to that of figure painting with us— Binyon

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issues which, whilst not of major significance, have some importanceCurrent History

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Consequence (see also EFFECT) is often used interchangeably with importance especially in implying superior social rank or distinction
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men of consequence

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but it usually implies importance because of the thing's possible or probable outcome, effects, or results
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he . . . was eager to have the Cathedral begun; but whether it was Midi Romanesque or Ohio German in style, seemed to him of little consequenceCather

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to marry one of the right people ... is of the greatest consequence for a happy life— Rose Macaulay

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to cultivate the love of truth, it is of the utmost consequence that children should study things as well as words, external nature as well as books— Eliot

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I cannot think of a single poet of consequence whose work does not . . . condemn modern civilization— Auden

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Moment implies conspicuous or self-evident consequence
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enterprises of great pith and moment—Shak.

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a mistake of no very great moment —in fine, a mere slip— Barham

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Weight implies a judgment of the relatively great importance or of the particular moment of the thing under consideration
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the judge gave great weight to the testimony of the accused man

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in such a point of weight, so near mine honor— Shak.

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I looked for you at dinner time; I forget now what for; but then 'twas a matter of more weight than laying siege to a city— Millay

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Significance and import are often used as though they were indistinguishable in meaning from importance or consequence, but they typically imply a quality or character in a person or thing which ought to mark it as of importance or consequence but which may or may not be recognized; thus, one may miss the significance of an occurrence; one may recognize the import of a piece of testimony
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a widespread recognition of the significance of that achievement— Ellis

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the book was invested with a significance . . . which its intrinsic literary and philosophical merits could not justify— Huxley

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a fear that the spectator might lose, in the shock of crude sensation, the spiritual import of the catastrophe— B inyon

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Analogous words: prominence, conspicuousness, saliency (see corresponding adjectives at NOTICEABLE): eminence, illustriousness (see corresponding adjectives at FAMOUS): seriousness, gravity (see corresponding adjectives at SERIOUS): magnitude, *size, extent
Antonyms: unimportance
Contrasted words: pettiness, triviality, paltriness (see corresponding adjectives at PETTY)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • importance — [ ɛ̃pɔrtɑ̃s ] n. f. • 1361; it. importanza, du lat. importare → 2. importer 1 ♦ Caractère de ce qui est important. ⇒ intérêt. Mesurer l importance d un événement. ⇒ dimension, gravité, portée. « Ces questions de langage me paraissent de haute… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Importance — is a notion of ecommerce (and other) systems that use a combination of user contribution and viewer ranking to determine a contributors value. A contributor who writes 1,000 product reviews but has them all ranked negatively by the viewing… …   Wikipedia

  • importance — Importance, Momentum, Pondus rei. Chose d importance, Res idonea de qua quaeratur, Res momentosa. Chose de si grande importance, Res magni momenti. Tu n as pas encores ouy ce qui est de plus grande importance, Nondum audisti quod est grauissimum …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • importance — Importance. subst. f. Consequence, ce qui fait qu une chose est importante. Il est de grande importance de bien commencer une affaire. c est une affaire d importance. l importance de la chose, de l affaire est que, &c. c est une affaire de plus… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • importance — [im pôrt′ ns] n. [MFr < OIt importanza] 1. the state or quality of being important; significance; consequence 2. Obs. a) a matter or consequence b) import, or meaning c) importunity SYN. IMPORTANCE, the broades …   English World dictionary

  • Importance — Im*por tance, n. [F. importance. See {Important}.] 1. The quality or state of being important; consequence; weight; moment; significance. [1913 Webster] Thy own importance know, Nor bound thy narrow views to things below. Pope. [1913 Webster] 2.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • importance — UK US /ɪmˈpɔːtəns/ noun [U] ► the quality of being important: »Some managers acknowledge the importance of balancing work and family, and believe it necessary to design specific policies …   Financial and business terms

  • importance — (n.) c.1500, from M.Fr. importance or directly from M.L. importantia, from importantem (see IMPORTANT (Cf. important)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • importance — [n1] significance, weight accent, attention, bearing, caliber, concern, concernment, consequence, denotation, distinction, drift*, effect, emphasis, force, gist*, gravity, import, influence, interest, materiality, moment, momentousness,… …   New thesaurus

  • importance — I noun concern, concernment, consequence, distinction, eminence, emphasis, essentiality, fame, grandeur, gravity, greatness, import, influence, irreplaceability, magnitude, mark, materiality, materialness, memorability, memorableness, merit,… …   Law dictionary


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