Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

moratorium

play
noun mor·a·to·ri·um \ˌmȯr-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əm, ˌmär-\

Simple Definition of moratorium

  • : a time when a particular activity is not allowed

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of moratorium

plural

moratoriums

or

moratoria

play play \-ē-ə\
  1. 1 a :  a legally authorized period of delay in the performance of a legal obligation or the payment of a debt b :  a waiting period set by an authority

  2. 2 :  a suspension of activity

Examples of moratorium in a sentence

  1. In 2000, Illinois declared a moratorium on executions after 13 death-row inmates were exonerated. —Evan Thomas et al., Newsweek, 19 Nov. 2007

  2. But one country's moratorium is another country's protectionism, and the U.S. is suspicious of Europe's actions. —Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 13 Sept. 1999

  3. The striped bass are recovering strongly after a moratorium on catching them. —John P. Wiley, Jr., Smithsonian, November 1993

  4. Her office was crammed with ungraded school papers, some of them dating back five years. She was far behind in her work—so far behind that she had declared a moratorium on school work until she could catch up on her grading. —Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., The Sirens of Titan, 1959

  5. The treaty calls for a nuclear testing moratorium.

  6. <the director of the blood bank called for a moratorium in donations until the surplus could be used up>



Origin and Etymology of moratorium

New Latin, from Late Latin, neuter of moratorius dilatory, from Latin morari to delay, from mora delay


First Known Use: 1875


Law Dictionary

moratorium

play
noun mor·a·to·ri·um \ˌmȯr-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əm\

Legal Definition of moratorium

plural

moratoriums

or

moratoria

  1. 1a :  an authorized period of delay in the performance of an obligation (as the paying of a debt) b :  a waiting period set by an authority

  2. 2 :  a suspension of activity



Origin and Etymology of moratorium

New Latin, from Late Latin, neuter of moratorius dilatory, from morari to delay, from mora delay



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up moratorium? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

in the capacity or character of

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

fox-in-summer-forest

Which of these is a synonym of inchoate?

experimental frightening formless massive
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ