1. Strongly affecting the course of events or the nature of things; significant: an important message that must get through; close friends who are important to me.
2. Having high social rank or influence; prominent: government leaders and other important people.
3. Having or suggesting a consciousness of high position or authority; authoritative: recited the decree with an important air.
4. Obsolete Importunate.
[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin importāns, important-, present participle of importāre, to mean, from Latin, to import; see IMPORT.]
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.