mo·​ment ˈmō-mənt How to pronounce moment (audio)
: a minute portion or point of time : instant
a moment of dreadful suspenseGraham Greene
: a comparatively brief period of time
moments of solitude
: present time
at the moment she is at work on her fourth novelHoliday
: a time of excellence or conspicuousness
there's … some deliciously funny moments, but most of it is numbingly subtleJess Cagle
: importance in influence or effect
decisions of moment must be made by our governmentL. H. Evans
obsolete : a cause or motive of action
: a stage in historical or logical development
a document of one moment in the history of thought and sensibility in the nineteenth centuryT. S. Eliot
: tendency or measure of tendency to produce motion especially about a point or axis
: the product of quantity (such as a force) and the distance to a particular axis or point
: 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
: the expected value of a power of the deviation (see deviation sense b) of a random variable from a fixed value
Choose the Right Synonym for 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web But, over all, the menu felt haphazard and disappointing, with too many dull moments and little coherence from dish to dish. Helen Rosner, The New Yorker, 14 Apr. 2024 Clark’s draft moment, no matter how delayed, exemplifies the advantages of the age requirement. Thuc Nhi Nguyen, Los Angeles Times, 14 Apr. 2024 He estimation was off a bit, but 13 years later, that premonition came true as Tyler delivered an electric Saturday night set, a full circle moment for one of hip hop’s most dynamic artists. Tomás Mier, Rolling Stone, 14 Apr. 2024 The Arizona Diamondbacks opened the 2024 season hoping for a return to the World Series and another championship moment at Chase Field. Greg Burton, The Arizona Republic, 14 Apr. 2024 Then, Jordyn Woods’ date night makeup moment caught our eye. India Espy-Jones, Essence, 13 Apr. 2024 The iconic segment — which totaled over $7 million — was a one-time classic TV moment, but the internet has immortalized her excitement to store in its archive of reaction images. Brendan Le, Peoplemag, 13 Apr. 2024 For over 400 episodes, Bob Ross taught public television audiences how to paint lovely landscapes, leaving behind a legacy of affable, meme-able moments, plus artworks that live on everywhere from your family garage to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Tanya Melendez,, 13 Apr. 2024 The second year receivers had some good moments, including as runners. Barry Jackson, Miami Herald, 13 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'moment.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near moment

Cite this Entry

“Moment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


mo·​ment ˈmō-mənt How to pronounce moment (audio)
: a brief portion of time : instant
: present time
at the moment she is working on a novel
: a time of importance or success
he has his moments
: importance, consequence
an event of great moment

More from Merriam-Webster on moment

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