Etymology
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pivotal (adj.)

"of the nature of a pivot," 1844, in the figurative sense, from pivot (n.) in the sense of "that upon which something turns or depends" + -al (1).

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Definitions of pivotal

pivotal (adj.)
being of crucial importance; "Its pivotal location has also exposed it to periodic invasions"- Henry Kissinger;
a pivotal event
Synonyms: polar
From wordnet.princeton.edu