/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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