mo·​ment | \ ˈmō-mənt How to pronounce moment (audio) \

Definition of moment

1a : a minute portion or point of time : instant a moment of dreadful suspense— Graham Greene
b : a comparatively brief period of time moments of solitude
2a : present time at the moment she is at work on her fourth novelHoliday
b : a time of excellence or conspicuousness there's … some deliciously funny moments, but most of it is numbingly subtle— Jess Cagle
3 : importance in influence or effect decisions of moment must be made by our government— L. H. Evans
4 obsolete : a cause or motive of action
5 : a stage in historical or logical development a document of one moment in the history of thought and sensibility in the nineteenth century— T. S. Eliot
6a : tendency or measure of tendency to produce motion especially about a point or axis
b : the product of quantity (such as a force) and the distance to a particular axis or point
7a : the mean (see mean entry 4 sense 1b) of the nth powers of the deviations (see deviation sense b) of the observed values in a set of statistical data from a fixed value
b : the expected value of a power of the deviation (see deviation sense b) of a random variable from a fixed value

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Synonyms for moment


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importance, consequence, moment, weight, significance mean a quality or aspect having great worth or significance. importance implies a value judgment of the superior worth or influence of something or someone. a region with no cities of importance consequence generally implies importance because of probable or possible effects. the style you choose is of little consequence moment implies conspicuous or self-evident consequence. a decision of great moment weight implies a judgment of the immediate relative importance of something. the argument carried no weight with the judge significance implies a quality or character that should mark a thing as important but that is not self-evident and may or may not be recognized. the treaty's significance

Examples of moment in a Sentence

The sun was shining. Moments later, it began to rain. It was a moment before she realized what had happened. She stopped for a moment and peeked into the window. It should only take a moment to fix the problem. I'm very busy and I don't have a moment to spare. One moment it was sunny; the next it was pouring rain. The moment for us to act has arrived. War seemed unavoidable at that moment in history. She knew exactly the right moment to ask for a raise. We had an exciting vacation. There was never a dull moment.
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Recent Examples on the Web Despite the show's few disorganized moments that saw too many people onstage, the 66-city national tour seemed to launch on a high note. Kimi Robinson, azcentral, "'Bachelor Live on Stage' in Mesa: Highs and lows from the national tour's launch," 14 Feb. 2020 Clippers guard Landry Shamet hit a 3-pointer moments later anyway, and Tatum’s jumper at the buzzer was off, forcing a second overtime. Adam Himmelsbach,, "Celtics showed their toughness against Clippers, and nobody was better than Jayson Tatum," 14 Feb. 2020 One inmate was executed with an unapproved drug and a second inmate was just moments away from being led to the death chamber before prison officials realized the same wrong drug had been delivered for his execution. NBC News, "Oklahoma set to resume executions years after death-chamber mishaps," 14 Feb. 2020 The Pelicans' Zion Williamson called it a top-two moment in his life. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, "NBA All-Stars Trae Young, Zion Williamson starstruck by former President Barack Obama," 14 Feb. 2020 The outfielder had a breakout season in the minors and made his big-league debut in 2019, contributing some key moments (although many will remember his error in the Wild Card game). Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Where are recent ex-Brewers suiting up in spring training?," 14 Feb. 2020 Shortly after beating the Spartans, the two embraced, basking in the glow of the win, a moment that was captured by a photographer and widely shared on social media. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball's David DeJulius trusts Juwan Howard — and it's paying off," 14 Feb. 2020 Few players in the class have enjoyed better moments than Maxey’s 26 points in the season-opening win over then-No. Jon Hale, The Courier-Journal, "One reason John Calipari has been so hard on Kentucky freshman Tyrese Maxey," 14 Feb. 2020 Miller said, continuing that answer before getting to perhaps the most telling moment of the night. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "Like it or not, Devonte Green is the key to IU basketball's 2020 season," 14 Feb. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'moment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of moment

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for moment

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin momentum movement, particle sufficient to turn the scales, moment, from movēre to move

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Time Traveler for moment

Time Traveler

The first known use of moment was in the 14th century

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Statistics for moment

Last Updated

17 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for moment


How to pronounce moment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of moment

: a very short period of time
: a particular time : a precise point in time
: the present time


mo·​ment | \ ˈmō-mənt How to pronounce moment (audio) \

Kids Definition of moment

1 : a very brief time A shooting star lasts only a moment.
2 : present time I'm busy at the moment.
3 : importance We met to discuss a subject of great moment.

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