I am looking for a word that conveys the idea of having effectual bearing on one's life apart from any held opinion. Words such as "important" or "salient" are inappropriate, as they have connotations, or at the very least, alternate definitions, with reference to one's opinion. The word "relevant" is getting there, but it fails to convey the idea that what is being spoken of has actual effect on one's life.

For example, I may care very little whom my legislative representatives are, but my congressmen have a significant impact on my life.

I don't care who wins the White House, but it is nevertheless ________ to me.

Conversely, I may care deeply that the A/C in my office be turned off on the weekend, but whether it stays on or not does not have any bearing on my life apart from any emotional distress it may cause.

I hope they turn the A/C off this weekend, but at the end of the day, it's not ________ to me.

  • 2
    I'm not sure there's necessarily an adjective with the precise sense you seem to be seeking. There are lots of terms like significant, material, relevant that people might use to carry the same general sense of ...but it's not important to me, but for the exact meaning you're after I think it would be much simpler to recast to something like ...but it doesn't affect me. Jul 14, 2017 at 18:30
  • To give added nuance, I am looking for an adjective that conveys the idea of material impact.
    – Alex
    Jul 15, 2017 at 15:14
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    Again, if you insist on an adjective, you could in principle convey that precise sense with it's not impactful to me, but note the caveat in that link: Impactful is one of those words that somehow arouse intense disdain, especially among editors and other would-be guardians of English. According to its critics, the word exemplifies “bad, ugly usage.” Instead of looking for a word that native speakers never or rarely use, just do the same as us and say it doesn't affect, matter to, trouble, bother me. Jul 15, 2017 at 15:23
  • Why is immaterial no good? Google defines it as unimportant under the circumstances, which I think works in either case. Even when you care, under the circumstances, it bears no importance. Jul 16, 2017 at 15:13

1 Answer 1


Consequential and inconsequential could be used here.

consequential: of consequence or importance, e.g. "a consequential man in his field."



"I don't care who wins the White House, but it is nevertheless consequential to me."

"I hope they turn the A/C off this weekend, but at the end of the day, it is inconsequential to me."

  • 2
    I think not consequential to me sounds really stilted (the only one of 5 written instances there where I can actually read the context is just an accidental collocation). There are actually a few hundred hits for is inconsequential to me, but they're dwarfed by almost 20,000 instances of of no consequence to me. Jul 14, 2017 at 18:37
  • 2
    Good point, FumbleFingers. I am going to edit my answer to put inconsequential closer to the top next to consequential.
    – thomj1332
    Jul 14, 2017 at 18:53

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