the moment


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.
an aspect of a thing.
Obsolete. an essential or constituent factor.
a tendency to produce motion, especially about an axis.
the product of a physical quantity and its directed distance from an axis: moment of area; moment of mass.

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
moment (ˈməʊmənt)
1.  a short indefinite period of time: he'll be here in a moment
2.  a specific instant or point in time: at that moment the doorbell rang
3.  the moment the present point of time: at the moment it's fine
4.  import, significance, or value: a man of moment
5.  physics
 a.  a tendency to produce motion, esp rotation about a point or axis
 b.  See also moment of inertia the product of a physical quantity, such as force or mass, and its distance from a fixed reference point
6.  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)
[C14: from Old French, from Latin mōmentum, from movēre to move]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

mid-14c., "very brief portion of time, instant," in moment of time, from O.Fr. moment, from L. momentum "movement, moving power," also "instant, importance," contraction of *movimentum, from movere "to move" (see move). Some (but not OED) explain the sense evolution of the
L. 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 Sp. el momento de la verdad, the final sword-thrust in a bull-fight.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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