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I came across a word a while ago which I had to look that had the definition along the lines of "in its early stages but important / powerful / poignant" and I can't for the life of me remember what it was...

Anyone any ideas, it's driving me a bit mad! :D

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  • "Formative" is one word I'd consider.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 14:20

3 Answers 3

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The words that come to my mind are nascent and infancy.

nascent (adjective)

definition: just coming into existence and beginning to display signs of future potential.

Usage:

The nascent stages of Andy's career proved to be challenging, yet he came out with flying colors

infancy (noun)

definition: the early stage in the development or growth of something

Usage:

The well established company has nurtured "Speak Up" culture right from its infancy.

I wanted to post this as a comment but I don't have enough reputation to do that. So posting it as as answer.

Edit: : Edited answer, added definition and usage to be in line with the answer style guidelines of this community

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    "nascent" - that was it! You star! Big stack exchange point for you. Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 14:45
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It may have been 'seminal'

Seminal - adjective

4 - highly original and influencing the development of future events: a seminal artist; seminal ideas.

www.dictionary.com

Or perhaps it was 'groundbreaking'

Groundbreaking - adjective

3 - originating or pioneering a new endeavor, field of inquiry, or the like: Pasteur's groundbreaking work in bacteriology.

www.dictionary.com

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Incipient- something is in an early stage of existence. "In its incipient form, basketball was played with a soccer ball and peach baskets for goals. Bouncy orange balls and nets came later."

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