/im pawr"tns/, n.
1. the quality or state of being important; consequence; significance.
2. important position or standing; personal or social consequence.
3. consequential air or manner: an air of bustling importance.
4. Obs. an important matter.
5. Obs. importunity.
6. Obs. import or meaning.
[1495-1505; < ML importantia. See IMPORTANT, -ANCE]
Syn. 1. moment, weight, concern. IMPORTANCE, CONSEQUENCE, SIGNIFICANCE, MOMENT all signify something valuable, influential, or worthy of note. IMPORTANCE is the most general of these, assigning exceptional or notable value or influence to a person or thing: the importance of Einstein's discoveries. CONSEQUENCE may suggest outstanding personal quality or position, or it may suggest importance because of results to be produced: a woman of consequence in world affairs; an event of great consequence for our future.
SIGNIFICANCE can be used interchangeably with importance or consequence, but it carries also the implication of importance that is not readily or immediately recognized: The significance of the discovery only became clear years later. MOMENT, on the other hand, almost always refers to immediately apparent, self-evident importance: a change of great moment for the nation's political system.

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Universalium. 2010.