I'm trying to think of a word which can describe a first encounter that has made a tremendous impact in my life. Unfortunately, I can't think of one. Is there a word to describe such an event?


The first word that came to me was pivotal:


1 : of, relating to, or constituting a pivot
2 : vitally important : CRITICAL

// She is at a pivotal point in her career.
// the report was missing a pivotal piece of information

Generally speaking, it combines both of the above senses. So not only is something vitally important but it also serves as a turning point.

You can look back on an event in your life that had a significant impact, without which things would obviously have turned out differently for you:

It was a pivotal event.

You could similarly say:

It was a key moment.



the time at which a situation starts to change in an important way

Source: Cambridge Dicionary


Epiphany is sometimes used in this sense:

a moment when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become conscious of, something that is very important to you

Note that this is a sort of metaphorical extension of the religious meaning:

a Christian holy day in January (traditionally 6 January in Western Christianity) that celebrates the revelation of the baby Jesus to the world


  • 1
    I would like to go for 'turning point'.
    – Ram Pillai
    Nov 20 '19 at 6:05

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