I have had a lot of trouble finding an answer on this, mainly because searching for import obviously has far more results for the other meaning.

The few results I have found always give examples of the word "import" in the context "of import". For example; He was a man of import; It was of great import that they arrive on time. etc.

I realise that import could be considered archaic, but can it be used without the word "of"?

For example; he was obsessed with his own import; He was attracted by her import. etc.

  • 3
    Import in the sense of meaning, significance can be used without being preceded by of (Oxford gives the example 'the import of her message is clear'), but your two examples don't make sense. Import isn't something you can find attractive. May 20, 2022 at 16:25
  • 1
    @KateBunting Surely somethings significance is an attractive or unattractive property. It is not unusual for someone to be attracted to someone of importance. In some of those cases you may be able to say they were attracted to the importance and not the person?
    – RainMan
    May 20, 2022 at 17:05
  • 3
    Yes, but we don't use import to refer to a person's importance in the sense of high social status. You could say He was attracted by her air of importance. The import of something is its significance to some serious issue. May 21, 2022 at 8:14
  • Unless you have a particular reason, then importance is the usual word. Import has a whiff of the literary or maybe archaic, and if you don't know the difference and aren't aiming for a particular effect, use the common word.
    – Stuart F
    Mar 1, 2023 at 10:43
  • Import in this sense means "important". It's no longer commonly used, mainly archaic, or found in older literature. I suggest you don't use it unless it's for effect.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jun 29, 2023 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


No, you can't say this.

A person doesn't have import. A person might be assigned a level of importance based on their position in a hierarchy, but the word is importance and it's not abbreviated.

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