Significance means having the quality of being "significant" — meaningful, important. It also refers to the meaning of something. A certain date might have significance because it's your birthday or the anniversary of Princess Di's wedding.

Significance starts with the word sign for a reason. An item's significance is a sign of its importance. The significance of something can be implicit or explicit — meaning it can be clear or only known with a deeper understanding of the situation. Your perfect score on the Calculus exam might have added significance for people who know that you never even opened your textbook to study.

Definitions of significance

n the quality of being significant

“do not underestimate the significance of nuclear power”
the quality of having little or no significance
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significance owing to its history
the quality of having great value or significance
consequence, import, moment
having important effects or influence
(used with negation) having consequence
purposefulness, sense of purpose
the quality of having a definite purpose
hell to pay
dire consequences
Type of:
the quality of being important and worthy of note

n the message that is intended or expressed or signified

“the significance of a red traffic light”
import, meaning, signification
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lexical meaning
the meaning of a content word that depends on the nonlinguistic concepts it is used to express
grammatical meaning
the meaning of a word that depends on its role in a sentence; varies with inflectional form
symbolisation, symbolization
the use of symbols to convey meaning
sense, signified
the meaning of a word or expression; the way in which a word or expression or situation can be interpreted
connotation, intension
what you must know in order to determine the reference of an expression
something referred to; the object of a reference
burden, core, effect, essence, gist
the central meaning or theme of a speech or literary work
intent, purport, spirit
the intended meaning of a communication
lesson, moral
the significance of a story or event
nicety, nuance, refinement, shade, subtlety
a subtle difference in meaning or opinion or attitude
(usually plural) an ulterior implicit meaning or quality
a brief version of the essential meaning of something
acceptation, word meaning, word sense
the accepted meaning of a word
the referent of an anaphor; a phrase or clause that is referred to by an anaphoric pronoun
an actual object referred to by a linguistic expression
something (whether existing or not) that is referred to by a linguistic expression
bottom line
the decisive point
crux, crux of the matter
the most important point
rallying point
a point or principle on which scattered or opposing groups can come together
talking point
an especially persuasive point helping to support an argument or discussion
Type of:
content, message, subject matter, substance
what a communication that is about something is about

n a meaning that is not expressly stated but can be inferred

“the significance of his remark became clear only later”
implication, import
Type of:
meaning, substance
the idea that is intended

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