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Not important; insignificant or petty.

un′im·por′tance n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


a lack of importance
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014




  1. Brittle and meaningless as cocktail party patter —William Brammer
  2. His influence … it is like burning a … candle at Dover to show light at Calais —Samuel Johnson

    Had Johnson been an American living in America instead of an Englishman living in England, his comment on Thomas Sheridan’s influence on English literature might well have illustrated with “A candle in New York to show light in Boston.”

  3. Hollow as the (ghastly) amiabilities of a college reunion —Raymond M. Weaver
  4. Impact [of information] … as thin as gold —Raymond Chandler
  5. (About as) important as a game of golf to an astronomer —Anon
  6. Important as mathematics to an engineer —Anon
  7. Inconsequential … like the busy work that grade school teachers devise to keep children out of mischief —Ann Petry
  8. Insignifacnt as the canals of Mars —Frank Conroy
  9. Its loss would be incalculable … like losing the Mona Lisa —Dr. Paul Parks, New York Times, August 23, 1986 on potential death of Florida’s Lake Okeechobee
  10. Meaningful as love —Kenneth Patchen
  11. Meaningless, like publishing a book of your opinions with a vanity press —Scott Spencer
  12. Of no more importance than a flea or a louse —Boris Pasternak

    In the novel, Doctor Zhivago, a character uses this simile to compare a wife to workers.

  13. Seemed scarcely to concern us, like fairy tales or cautionary fables that are not to be taken literally or to heart —Joan Chase
  14. Shallow as a pie pan —Anon
  15. [A speech] shallow as time —Thomas Carlyle
  16. Uneventful as theory —A. R. Ammons
  17. Worthless as withered weeds —Emily Bronte
Similes Dictionary, 1st Edition. © 1988 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.unimportance - the state of being humble and unimportantunimportance - the state of being humble and unimportant
obscurity - an obscure and unimportant standing; not well known; "he worked in obscurity for many years"
2.unimportance - the quality of not being important or worthy of noteunimportance - the quality of not being important or worthy of note
value - the quality (positive or negative) that renders something desirable or valuable; "the Shakespearean Shylock is of dubious value in the modern world"
inessentiality - not of basic importance
puniness, slightness, triviality, pettiness - the quality of being unimportant and petty or frivolous
insignificance - the quality of having little or no significance
importance - the quality of being important and worthy of note; "the importance of a well-balanced diet"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in classic literature ?
Looking into Napoleon's eyes Prince Andrew thought of the insignificance of greatness, the unimportance of life which no one could understand, and the still greater unimportance of death, the meaning of which no one alive could understand or explain.
There is nothing certain, nothing at all except the unimportance of everything I understand, and the greatness of something incomprehensible but all-important.
If you have suffered your mind to dwell upon it for a single moment, try and remember the relative unimportance of such an amount when compared with a thousand guineas."
We must remember that, much like the hidden nuns of our faith, what is beautiful and holy is veiled and hidden away This is not to show their unimportance, but to preserve dignity and true beauty that is not physical, but spiritual.
That the inquiry ignores us only emphasises our relative unimportance in the mental health firmament.
So I find myself wishing both parties would recognize the integrity and goodwill of the other and therefore the relative unimportance of a win or loss on the specific expression of said values and just drop it.
And every other place of unimportance unless it has some importance for the very important people of Thimphu.
Just as Belgium and England's dead-rubber group game carried a sense of unimportance, so third-place play-offs can be sterile affairs, with both teams still coming down from having missed out on a place in the final.
Harking back to the concept of mainstreaming, the term could be construed as similarity of facets and values, the idea of importance and unimportance of social behaviours, which are cultivated through extensive social contact and interaction (including through media).
This is also known as Low Sunday - thought to be a reference to its relative unimportance in comparison to the High Days of Holy Week and Easter Sunday.
This leaves people psychologically dejected, without hope and with acceptance of a false idea of unimportance and removes their sense of individuality.
The deputy governor said that aside from the P255 billion regularly generated by the Bureau of Treasury at each sale of Treasury bills and Treasury bonds, the banks also report high demand for liquidity during the holiday season that adds to the relative unimportance of longer-dated TDFs in recent weeks and in the weeks forward.