American English

Definition of significant adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1large or important enough to have an effect or to be noticed a highly significant discovery The results of the experiment are not statistically significant. There are no significant differences between the two groups of students. Your work has shown a significant improvement. These views are held by a significant proportion of the population. It is significant that girls generally do better on examinations than boys. The drug has had no significant effect on stopping the spread of the disease. compare insignificant
  2. 2having a particular meaning It is significant that he changed his will only days before his death.
  3. 3[usually before noun] having a special or secret meaning that is not understood by everyone synonym meaningful a significant look/smile
AWL Collocationssignificantsignificant adjectiveimportant; so large that you notice itchange, difference, effect, impact, improvement, increase, reduction contribution correlationThere were significant climatic differences, including an unusually wet season followed by dry seasons.statisticallyIt is necessary to carry out a trial on a statistically significant number of individuals.highlyThe museum owns highly significant and valuable works.culturally, economically, historically, morally, politically, sociallyThe collection includes historically significant letters from American presidents.proveThe research could prove significant in medical and biotechnology fields.insignificant adjectivedetail decrease, difference, increaseI will return to these apparently insignificant details in the last section of this paper.statisticallyThe small sample size is statistically insignificant.apparently, seemingly relativelySeemingly insignificant scratches in glass may cause breakage.significance nounstatisticalIn the test, high variability resulted in a lack of statistical significance.assess grasp downplay, underestimateThere are two very different ways to assess the broader significance of these events.significantly adverbin a noticeable waydiffer, varyActual markets differ significantly from perfectly competitive markets.lower (than)Significantly lower numbers of seals were observed at low tide.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: significant