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

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

3 Answers 3


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.


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


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

  • 2
    "nascent" - that was it! You star! Big stack exchange point for you. Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 14:45

It may have been 'seminal'

Seminal - adjective

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


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.



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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