mo·​men·​tary | \ˈmō-mən-ˌter-ē \

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

Not to worry, this momentary lapse was swiftly corrected. Michael Andor Brodeur,, "The official language of the US? It’s euphemism.," 21 June 2018 The Padres supplied a momentary distraction in the top of the second. Dennis Lin,, "Padres' Luis Perdomo chased early in loss to Rockies," 17 July 2017 The Tories’ momentary unity on the subject, painfully achieved only two years since Brexit, lasted two days. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Did Trump Just Help Stop Brexit?," 13 July 2018 That should have been the end of the story, save for my momentary guilt knowing that healthy young people’s premiums were paying to replace my decaying baby-boomer parts. Steve Cohen, WSJ, "You Can’t Put a Price on a Hip Replacement, and That’s a Problem," 13 July 2018 But every once in a while, a neutrino will hit into an atom of that ice, and breaks it apart, there’s a momentary flash of an eerie blue light. Brian Resnick, Vox, "Physicists are unveiling cool, new findings from a South Pole neutrino observatory Thursday. Here’s how to watch.," 12 July 2018 Turn Those Frowns Yankee Stadium fans were barely done booing Gray when Judge gave them a momentary lift. Jake Seiner,, "Sale Pitches Gem, Devers Slams Gray As Sox Whip Yankees," 30 June 2018 So the filibuster is a momentary annoyance for the Republicans. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Chuck Schumer Is Secretly Sabotaging the Next Democratic President," 28 June 2018 Originally envisioned as a momentary novelty, an outrageously expensive $1,200 black-and-platinum bottle of tequila with a 24-karat gold label in Los Cabos was launched. Mark Seal, WSJ, "The Tequila Gold Rush," 19 June 2018

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

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

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English Language Learners Definition of momentary

: lasting a very short time : lasting only a moment


mo·​men·​tary | \ˈmō-mən-ˌter-ē \

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).


obstinately defiant of authority

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