Is there a relation between the words import (in a trade sense) and important (special, etc)? It seems to me that there is, or rather that there should be, but I was wondering if anyone can give some proper clarification.

  • Important means of import. But I suppose you're asking about import as an antonym of export. I'd make it clear in your question if I were you. Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 21:39

1 Answer 1


The etymology of the two terms shows that they have the same origin, the Latin 'importare' (bring in):

Import (v.):

  • early 15c., "convey information, express, make known, signify," from Latin importare "bring in, convey," from assimilated form of in- "into, in" (see in- (2)) + portare "to carry" (see port (n.1)). Sense of "bring in goods from abroad" first recorded c.1500.


  • mid-15c., from Middle French important and directly from Medieval Latin importantem (nominative importans), present participle of importare "be significant in," from Latin importare "bring in" (see import).

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