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Pivotal   /pˈɪvətəl/   Listen

Being of crucial importance.  Synonym: polar.  "Its pivotal location has also exposed it to periodic invasions" , "The polar events of this study" , "A polar principal"

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Pivotal" Quotes from Famous Books

... fallen from human lips than the closing sentences of his first inaugural uttered on one of the pivotal days of human history, immediately after taking the oath to preserve, protect, and defend ...
— Something of Men I Have Known - With Some Papers of a General Nature, Political, Historical, and Retrospective • Adlai E. Stevenson

... done. Now I think we are bound to hear something but I can't make out what has come over K. of K. In the old days his prime force lay in his faculty of focusing every iota of his energy upon the pivotal project, regardless (so it used to appear) of the other planks of the platform. A "side show" to him meant the non-vital part of the business, at that moment: it was not a question of troops or of ranks of Generals. For the time ...
— Gallipoli Diary, Volume I • Ian Hamilton

... the pivotal center of all the hilarity. She sat on the table and served the punch. Her coat was off, and in her silk blouse and riding breeches she was like a lovely boy. The men crowded around her. Pip, always at her elbow, delivered an admiring ...
— Mistress Anne • Temple Bailey

... matters of etiquette, or even of mere aesthetic culture: it goes to the very heart of the meaning of the abused word, Gentleman, and proves its root to be unselfishness. The author says: 'It is the moral element which, in my conception of the gentleman, is pivotal. Dealing with the highest type, I conceive that in that type not only are morals primary, but that manners result from them; so that where there is not a solid substratum of pure, elevated feeling there cannot be a clean, ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 4, No. 2, August, 1863 - Devoted to Literature and National Policy • Various

... went, and at the pivotal instant began again with the first rack of bombs. Down they flow, crashing upon car after car. Though half conscious of something at his rear and left, he did not dream the cause until, turning, he saw Stanley's pallid face contracting with pain. The ...
— Our Pilots in the Air • Captain William B. Perry

... alternate magnetic impulses. The clock train is taken from a standard clock and the motion of the pendulum is imparted to the escape wheel by means of a pawl, bearing on the latter, which is lifted at each forward stroke of the pendulum by an arm projecting forward from the pivotal end of ...
— The Boy Mechanic: Volume 1 - 700 Things For Boys To Do • Popular Mechanics

... Division followed Johnson, but his left and rear was assailed by a formidable force of mounted infantry which threw Manigault's (South Carolina) Brigade on his extreme left in disorder, the brigade being seriously rattled. But Twigg's Brigade, from Preston's pivotal Division, came to the succor of Manigault and succeeded in restoring the line, and the advance continued. Kershaw had advanced to within forty paces of the enemy's line, and it seemed for a time that his troops would be annihilated. Colonel Bland, then Major Hard, commanding ...
— History of Kershaw's Brigade • D. Augustus Dickert

... of 1848—and the concurrent return of the Mexican soldiers—seems but yesterday. We were in Nashville, where the camp fires of the two parties burned fiercely day and night, Tennessee a debatable, even a pivotal state. I was an enthusiastic politician on the Cass and Butler side, and was correspondingly disappointed when the election went against us for Taylor and Fillmore, though a little mollified when, on his way to Washington, General Taylor grasping his old comrade, ...
— Marse Henry, Complete - An Autobiography • Henry Watterson

... SPEEDWELL had not been overmasted, both she and the MAY-FLOWER would have arrived early in the fall at the mouth of the Hudson River, and the whole course of New England history would have been entirely different. Ergo, the "overmasting" of the SPEEDWELL was a "pivotal point in modern history." With the idea apparently of giving eclat to this announcement and of attracting attention to it, he surprisingly charges the responsibility for the "overmasting" and its alleged dire results upon the leaders of the Leyden church, "who were," he repeatedly ...
— The Mayflower and Her Log, Complete • Azel Ames

... York ratified the Constitution this rejoicing was premature. Geographically New York was a pivotal State. A union without this member was not worthy of the name. The task of the Federalists was here most difficult. Fully two thirds of the convention were at first opposed to the Constitution. The leadership of the Federalists fell ...
— Union and Democracy • Allen Johnson

... I make myself understood, though I would like to do so, because I am sure there is no point in scientific farming of greater importance. Mr. Geddes calls grass the "pivotal crop" of American agriculture. He deserves our thanks for the word and the idea connected with it. But I am inclined to think the pivot on which our agriculture stands and rotates, lies deeper than this. The grass crop creates nothing—developes nothing. ...
— Talks on Manures • Joseph Harris

... gray and hot between the bright green cane-fields, horsemen approached, and a number of slave women moved slowly: women with erect rigid backs balancing large baskets or stacks of cane on their heads, the body below the waist revolving with a pivotal motion which suggests an anatomy peculiar to the tropics. They had a dash of red about them somewhere, and their turbans were white. Rachael's imagination never gave her St. Kitts without its slave women, the "pic'nees" clinging to their hips as they bore ...
— The Conqueror • Gertrude Franklin Atherton

... the political kaleidoscope was a pivotal point in the life of Ary Scheffer. So long as the Duke of Orleans was a simple country gentleman, Scheffer was the intimate friend of the family, but how could the King of France admit into his family circle a mere low-born painter? Certainly not they who are descended ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 4 (of 14) - Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Painters • Elbert Hubbard

... cordiality. Roger, in his eagerness, took undue hope. Believing that the obstacle had become very small, he determined, upon occasion, to remove it entirely, by one bold stroke. Rita's kindness and Roger's growing hope and final determination to try the issue of one pivotal battle, all came into being during the period when Dic had reduced his visits to one month. The final charge by the Boston 'vincibles was made on the evening following Dic's ...
— A Forest Hearth: A Romance of Indiana in the Thirties • Charles Major

Words linked to "Pivotal" :   crucial, polar, pivot, important

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