noun mor·a·to·ri·um \ˌmr-ə-ˈtr-ē-əm, ˌmär-\

: a time when a particular activity is not allowed

plural mor·a·to·riums or mor·a·to·ria \-ē-ə\

Full Definition of MORATORIUM

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
:  a suspension of activity

Examples of MORATORIUM

  1. The treaty calls for a nuclear testing moratorium.
  2. <the director of the blood bank called for a moratorium in donations until the surplus could be used up>
  3. In 2000, Illinois declared a moratorium on executions after 13 death-row inmates were exonerated. —Evan Thomas et al., Newsweek, 19 Nov. 2007


New Latin, from Late Latin, neuter of moratorius dilatory, from Latin morari to delay, from mora delay
First Known Use: 1875

Other Legal Terms

actionable, alienable, carceral, chattel, complicity, decedent, larceny, malfeasance, modus operandi


Next Word in the Dictionary: MoravianPrevious Word in the Dictionary: morassAll Words Near: moratorium
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears