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[moh-muh nt] /ˈmoʊ mənt/
an indefinitely short period of time; instant:
I'll be with you in a moment.
the present time or any other particular time (usually preceded by the):
He is busy at the moment.
a definite period or stage, as in a course of events; juncture:
at this moment in history.
importance or consequence:
a decision of great moment.
a particular time or period of success, excellence, fame, etc.:
His big moment came in the final game.
Statistics. the mean or expected value of the product formed by multiplying together a set of one or more variates or variables each to a specified power.
  1. an aspect of a thing.
  2. Obsolete. an essential or constituent factor.
  1. a tendency to produce motion, especially about an axis.
  2. the product of a physical quantity and its directed distance from an axis:
    moment of area; moment of mass.
Origin of moment
1300-50; Middle English < Latin mōmentum motion, cause of motion, hence, influence, importance, essential factor, moment of time, equivalent to mō- (variant stem of movēre to move) + -mentum -ment
1. second, jiffy, trice, flash, twinkling. See minute1 . 4. significance, weight, gravity. See importance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for moment
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I ask you to share with me today the majesty of this moment.

  • Philothea had listened so earnestly, that for a moment all other thoughts were expelled from her mind.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • There was a moment's silence between the two in the kitchen, but the spell was broken.

  • They were apart from the others and for the moment unnoticed.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • For a moment there was silence, for the joke had taken a tragic turn.

    Fair Margaret H. Rider Haggard
British Dictionary definitions for moment


a short indefinite period of time: he'll be here in a moment
a specific instant or point in time: at that moment the doorbell rang
the moment, the present point of time: at the moment it's fine
import, significance, or value: a man of moment
  1. a tendency to produce motion, esp rotation about a point or axis
  2. the product of a physical quantity, such as force or mass, and its distance from a fixed reference point See also moment of inertia
(statistics) the mean of a specified power of the deviations of all the values of a variable in its frequency distribution. The power of the deviations indicates the order of the moment and the deviations may be from the origin (giving a moment about the origin) or from the mean (giving a moment about the mean)
Word Origin
C14: from Old French, from Latin mōmentum, from movēre to move
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for moment

mid-14c., "very brief portion of time, instant," in moment of time, from Old French moment (12c.) "moment, minute; importance, weight, value" or directly from Latin momentum "movement, motion; moving power; alteration, change;" also "short time, instant" (also source of Spanish, Italian momento), contraction of *movimentum, from movere "to move" (see move (v.)). Some (but not OED) explain the sense evolution of the Latin word by notion of a particle so small it would just "move" the pointer of a scale, which led to the transferred sense of "minute time division." Sense of "importance, 'weight' " is attested in English from 1520s.

Phrase never a dull moment first recorded 1889 in Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat." Phrase moment of truth first recorded 1932 in Hemingway's "Death in the Afternoon," from Spanish el momento de la verdad, the final sword-thrust in a bull-fight.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for moment


Related Terms

big moment

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with moment
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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