I am looking for a single word to fit in a phrase such as

I sent him a letter about the important matters in my life.


I love to speak with my friend concerning important matters in our lives.

I am looking for something like an antonym to minutiae. The only one I found was generality, but that does not confer the idea of importance. Milestone is not a bad word, but it more denotes an important event on a timeline.

Is there any such word in English?

  • I understand that you want a word to pair with "life" but more context would be helpful. Exactly what are these "important matters"? Question seems a bit open-ended. – Crosscounter Jul 13 '15 at 18:53
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    Concern means matter of importance. Or essentials. – Jimmy Jul 18 '15 at 20:10
  • @Jimmy Well the phrasing would be a little odd if I were to use "concerns" in that second sentence (...concerning concerns...), but I like that word. I think it works well for me. – Sudo Bash Jul 29 '15 at 18:04

I'm not sure this is what you are looking for but vicissitudes conveys the meaning you want in those sentences.

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  • Not quite what I was looking for. The connotation is a bit too negative I think. But +1 for a good word. It will work for me in some situations. – Sudo Bash Jul 13 '15 at 18:23
  • Also, welcome to English stackexchange – Sudo Bash Jul 13 '15 at 18:23
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    I had always heard it as a neutral word, but after investigating further it seems it does usually have a negative connotation. And thank you :) – Rj Geraci Jul 13 '15 at 18:26

I'd not use a single word here myself, but perhaps the best fit would be imperatives.

imperative noun 1 An essential or urgent thing ...


'Working with the students led me to understand some of the imperatives of life that impact their ability to live up to expectations.'

{What Makes Students Tick? _ Udoh Elijah Udom}

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  • +1 First word came into my mind when I saw the quesiton – RexYuan Jul 13 '15 at 19:25

Try essentials: as a count noun, essential means

something that is basic or necessary : something essential

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What kind of

"important matters" in life

are you referring to?

  1. goals/achievements/things to be done? try objectives
  2. similar to 1. but deciding on which one is more important? try priorities
  3. way of life/morals/deciding on what is meaningful? try values or conscience

Your question looks for a general word but example sentences involve "life" so I suggested a few that will give better meaning in certain contexts.

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OP can use the noun consequence to indicate importance or relevance, e.g., matters of consequence.

1. I sent him a letter about matters of (some) consequence in my life.

2. I love to speak with my friend concerning matters of (great) consequence in our lives.

consequence noun:

3a: importance with respect to power to produce an effect. “a mistake of no consequence

3b: social importance (Merriam-Webster online)

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