a. Having or expressing a meaning: Are the markings on the stone significant?
b. Having or expressing a covert or nonverbal meaning; suggestive: a significant glance.
2. Having or likely to have a major effect; important: a significant change in the tax laws.
3. Fairly large in amount or quantity: significant casualties; no significant opposition.
4. Statistics Of or relating to observations or occurrences that are too closely correlated to be attributed to chance and therefore indicate a systematic relationship.
[Latin significāns, significant-, present participle of significāre, to signify; see SIGNIFY.]
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.