Definition of pivotal in English:


See synonyms for pivotal

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  • 1Of crucial importance in relation to the development or success of something else.

    ‘the alliance that played a pivotal role in the revolution’
    • ‘We golfers, on the other hand, enjoy a year-round sport in which the knees play a crucial, if not pivotal, role.’
    • ‘Highlighted information helps to emphasise important issues or pivotal points in a developing argument.’
    • ‘One of his offseason moves will play a pivotal role in determining his early success.’
    • ‘The media play a pivotal role in shaping American perceptions of events in Korea.’
    • ‘The heroic performance of Ben and his twin brother Jerry was absolutely pivotal to that success.’
    • ‘We want it to play that pivotal role.’
    • ‘Before retiring in 1990, he was at the forefront of some of file most pivotal moments in American history.’
    • ‘Bennett is a potentially pivotal figure in the offense.’
    • ‘The work of Russell Bishop on the role of the teacher is absolutely pivotal.’
    • ‘The point behind today's post is that customer service is pivotal to the success of any business.’
    • ‘The even more pivotal figure Tony Blair will have to wrestle with is himself.’
    • ‘The home-field advantage has proved pivotal in at least one direct match-up.’
    • ‘Which is why today's trip to Aberdeen could prove pivotal come the end of the season.’
    • ‘Both men were pivotal figures in the golden age of the Hollywood studio system.’
    • ‘Researchers claim the findings could be pivotal in developing anti-bullying strategies in Scottish schools.’
    • ‘Nobody does so much, so often in so pivotal a position.’
    • ‘She had a pivotal scene the next day and he wanted her well rested.’
    • ‘The Rutherford Lab lecture turned out to be a pivotal event in theoretical physics.’
    • ‘In this situation the role of the Communist Party has become pivotal.’
    central, crucial, vital, critical, focal, essential, key, significant, important, determining, decisive, deciding
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Fixed on or as if on a pivot.
      • ‘a sliding or pivotal motion’



/ˈpivədl/ /ˈpɪvədl/