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moratorium

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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

Full Definition of moratorium

plural mor·a·to·riums or mor·a·to·riaplay 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

  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 of moratorium

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


First Known Use: 1875



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