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defining moment

a point at which the essential nature or character of a person, group, etc., is revealed or identified.
Origin of defining moment
1980-85 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for defining moment
  • Most of us don't consider childbirth to be the defining moment of our lives.
  • It has become a major, defining moment, for those who pursue the political and social propaganda.
  • It is thus considered a defining moment in the history of science.
  • Her dying was the defining moment of my life and it overshadowed everything else about her.
  • But when they come, it'll likely be a defining moment for urban surveillance.
  • The plans set out in the post-election budget for the next parliament will be a defining moment for any new government.
  • Weather becomes a defining moment in any large-scale event.
  • For millions of people, it is a defining moment in their lives.
  • Large-scale special events, such as world's fairs and conventions, often can serve as a defining moment for a city.
  • More than any other image of that day, however, the champagne photo seems to capture a defining moment in our nation's history.
Contemporary definitions for defining moment

an occurrence that typifies or determines all related events that follow's 21st Century Lexicon
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