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[moh-muh n-ter-ee] /ˈmoʊ mənˌtɛr i/
lasting but a moment; very brief; fleeting:
a momentary glimpse.
that might occur at any moment; ever impending:
to live in fear of momentary annihilation.
effective or recurring at every moment; constant.
Origin of momentary
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English momentare < Latin mōmentārius. See moment, -ary
Related forms
momentariness, noun
intermomentary, adjective
nonmomentariness, noun
nonmomentary, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for momentary
  • The degree of panic, however momentary, however fleeting is chilling.
  • They feared that all they might see would be a momentary brightening of some of the inner moons.
  • Some would say cruel, but it is a necessary event that is only momentary in pain for all involved.
  • The battery system will have a fast response time to address voltage fluctuations and momentary outages.
  • Most of the time, this only requires a momentary boost in your concentration.
  • All it takes is one momentary lapse of judgment and your system can be infiltrated.
  • During this shift in attention vision is suppressed and a patch of momentary blindness occurs.
  • It is then placed into momentary thermal contact with a heat sink, which absorbs any heat and entropy that the polymer has.
  • Human errors are often put down to a momentary loss of concentration.
  • But if it is fair to call that a momentary mis-step, it was soon put right.
British Dictionary definitions for momentary


/ˈməʊməntərɪ; -trɪ/
lasting for only a moment; temporary
Derived Forms
momentariness, noun
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 momentary

"lasting a moment," mid-15c., from Latin momentarius "of brief duration," from momentum (see moment).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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