mo·​men·​tary | \ ˈmō-mən-ˌter-ē How to pronounce momentary (audio) \

Definition of momentary

1a : continuing only a moment : fleeting
b : having a very brief life
2 : operative or recurring at every moment

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Other Words from momentary

momentariness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for momentary

transient, transitory, ephemeral, momentary, fugitive, fleeting, evanescent mean lasting or staying only a short time. transient applies to what is actually short in its duration or stay. a hotel catering primarily to transient guests transitory applies to what is by its nature or essence bound to change, pass, or come to an end. fame in the movies is transitory ephemeral implies striking brevity of life or duration. many slang words are ephemeral momentary suggests coming and going quickly and therefore being merely a brief interruption of a more enduring state. my feelings of guilt were only momentary fugitive and fleeting imply passing so quickly as to make apprehending difficult. let a fugitive smile flit across his face fleeting moments of joy evanescent suggests a quick vanishing and an airy or fragile quality. the story has an evanescent touch of whimsy that is lost in translation

Examples of momentary in a Sentence

He experienced a momentary loss of consciousness. the pain of the flu shot was only momentary
Recent Examples on the Web But There’s a Catch As Wired notes, even the momentary threat of their prestige handles being compromised led some early users to restake their claim. Billy Perrigo, Time, "Twitter Backs Down From Plan To Delete Inactive Accounts, Citing Dead Users," 28 Nov. 2019 After a momentary swerve behind the wheel, the man’s pulled over at a squad car’s request. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "‘Queen & Slim’: A first date, a police shooting and a road movie for today (movie review)," 27 Nov. 2019 Well, the visitors had momentary early success but ultimately had little to show for the effort. Michael Casagrande |, al, " instant analysis: Alabama wins by a lot," 23 Nov. 2019 His pressurized performance, released periodically in momentary fits of rage or evenings-long slow-burn inebriation is an apt metaphor for the hurry-up-and-wait paradox of war. Dominic P. Papatola, Twin Cities, "Theater review: Gremlin’s ‘Journey’s End’ rewards patient audience," 25 Oct. 2019 McGegan, music director of San Francisco’s Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and a regular guest in Cleveland, led a performance overflowing with musical charm, one in which even momentary inattention was a risk not worth taking. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Orchestra, Sachs delight with slate of untroubled Classical standards," 22 Nov. 2019 The momentary spike in rates, and the entry of the Fed to calm the markets down, led Chairman Powell to announce that the Fed will be buying $60 billion of short term debt each month. Fortune, "What Is ‘Quantitative Easing’—and Why Is Everybody So Worked Up About It?," 13 Nov. 2019 But tear gas was again fired soon after, breaking the momentary cease fire. Mary Hui, Quartz, "Photos: Hong Kong police and students are fighting a war in one of the city’s top universities," 12 Nov. 2019 Played with unabashed electricity by Andrew Burnap, Toby is a narcissist who becomes a momentary 'it' writer thanks to an utterly fabricated autobiography that gets optioned for the theater. John Norris, Billboard, "In Broadway's Powerful Queer Epic 'The Inheritance,' Matthew Lopez Bridges an LGBTQ Generation Gap," 7 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'momentary.' 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 momentary

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for momentary

Time Traveler

The first known use of momentary was in the 15th century

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Statistics for momentary

Last Updated

10 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Momentary.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 13 December 2019.

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More Definitions for momentary


How to pronounce momentary (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of momentary

: lasting a very short time : lasting only a moment


mo·​men·​tary | \ ˈmō-mən-ˌter-ē How to pronounce momentary (audio) \

Kids Definition of momentary

: lasting only a very brief time The loud noise gave us a momentary fright.

Other Words from momentary

momentarily \ ˌmō-​mən-​ˈter-​ə-​lē \ adverb

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Comments on momentary

What made you want to look up momentary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


easily led, controlled, or managed

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