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 the best twists also evoke feelings that run deeper than momentary tingles. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "Okay, Let’s Talk About Behind Her Eyes’ Double Twist Ending," 19 Feb. 2021 Oregon lawmakers are on track to introduce the highest number of bills in a decade, suggesting the overwhelming majority of them won’t get even a momentary hearing as the Legislature operates mostly online until at least April due to the pandemic. oregonlive, "Oregon lawmakers on pace to consider close to 4,000 bills in partially remote session," 11 Feb. 2021 These types of momentary lapses in focus have been too common from a player who many draft analysts were predicting could be a two-way force in the NBA. Christian Clark | Staff Writer,, "Van Gundy: To bust out of slump, Pelicans, young stars must take 'individual responsibility'," 25 Jan. 2021 The six-time All-Star took advantage of New Orleans' momentary defensive lapses throughout the game. Christian Clark,, "Nickeil Alexander-Walker explodes for 37 as Pelicans come up just short against Clippers," 13 Jan. 2021 The Saints’ offensive line has not been immune to momentary hiccups but has mostly contributed with strong performances despite a frequently rotating cast of characters. Luke Johnson,, "Saints' shuffling offensive line has remained a constant with these 2 coaches behind the scenes," 9 Jan. 2021 The seven minutes of pyrotechnics that lit up the Sydney Harbor Bridge and its surroundings at midnight brought momentary cheer. Arkansas Online, "New Year's revelries muted by virus as curtain draws on 2020," 31 Dec. 2020 But the momentary rift led to a landmark deal that potentially created a new theatrical model for all of Hollywood. Frank Pallotta, CNN, "How one bold decision made 'Trolls World Tour' the most important movie of 2020," 28 Dec. 2020 Hearing a Beatles song on the radio might even plunge you into momentary despair. Lori Gottlieb, The Atlantic, "Dear Therapist: COVID-19 Took My Father. I Am So Angry.," 28 Dec. 2020

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

5 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Momentary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for momentary



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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