1. The quality or condition of being important; significance.
2. Personal status; standing: people of great importance.
3. Obsolete Meaning; import.
4. Obsolete Importunity.
Synonyms: importance, consequence, significance, import, weight
These nouns refer to the state or quality of being significant, influential, or worthy of note or esteem. Importance is the most general term: the importance of a proper diet. Consequence is especially applicable to persons or things of notable rank or position (scholars of consequence) and to what is important because of its possible outcome, result, or effect (tax laws of consequence to investors). Significance and import refer to the quality of something that gives it special meaning or value: an event of real significance; works of great social import. Weight suggests seriousness or authority: "The popular faction at Rome ... was led by men of weight" (J.A. Froude).
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.