noun mo·ment \ ˈmō-mənt \
|Updated on: 21 Jul 2018

Definition of moment

1 a : 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
2 a : present time
  • at the moment she is at work on her fourth novel
  • Holiday
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
6 a : 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
7 a : the mean (see 4mean 1b) of the nth powers of the deviations (see deviation 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 b) of a random variable from a fixed value

Examples of moment in a Sentence

  1. The sun was shining. Moments later, it began to rain.

  2. It was a moment before she realized what had happened.

  3. She stopped for a moment and peeked into the window.

  4. It should only take a moment to fix the problem.

  5. I'm very busy and I don't have a moment to spare.

  6. One moment it was sunny; the next it was pouring rain.

  7. The moment for us to act has arrived.

  8. War seemed unavoidable at that moment in history.

  9. She knew exactly the right moment to ask for a raise.

  10. We had an exciting vacation. There was never a dull moment.

Recent Examples of moment from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of moment

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

Synonym Discussion of moment

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

MOMENT Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of moment for English Language Learners

  • : a very short period of time

  • : a particular time : a precise point in time

  • : the present time

MOMENT Defined for Kids


noun mo·ment \ ˈmō-mənt \

Definition of moment for Students

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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