mo·​men·​tous | \ mō-ˈmen-təs How to pronounce momentous (audio) , mə- \

Definition of momentous

: having great or lasting importance : consequential, significant a momentous decision a momentous event/occasion The Senate begins a momentous debate on health care today …The New York Times Deydey usually talked about his travels, the places he'd seen and the people, the close calls and momentous encounters with animals, weather, other Anishinabeg, and best of all, ghosts.— Louise Erdrich The late nineteenth century was strewn with inventions. Many were momentous, but few affected men and women more closely than the bicycle and its motorized offspring: motorcycle, motor-car and aeroplane.— Eugen Weber

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Other Words from momentous

momentously adverb
a momentously important decision … a … twist that is executed differently from the comic book story, but is just as dramatically and momentously presented. The Philippines Daily Inquirer
momentousness noun
But other East Europeans had little time to marvel at the momentousness of the moment. Just one day after the fall of the [Berlin] Wall, Bulgaria's dour leader of 35 years, Todor Zhivkov, was ousted. — Stephen E. Deane

Examples of momentous in a Sentence

My college graduation was a momentous day in my life. a momentous occasion that will go down in the history books
Recent Examples on the Web His cartoons that year captured the momentous events in Cincinnati and the world. Kevin Necessary, The Enquirer, "30 years after Pulitzer: former Enquirer editorial cartoonist Jim Borgman still drawing, pondering," 9 Apr. 2021 Blackmore's momentous achievement comes as part of her breakout season after being the leading rider at last month's Cheltenham Festival. Ben Morse, CNN, "Rachael Blackmore becomes first female jockey to win the Grand National," 10 Apr. 2021 His momentous decision and its timing right before the next big sports event in the state immediately put Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley on the clock. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Pressure lands on Augusta National chairman Fred Ridley as Georgia's voting law scrutinized," 5 Apr. 2021 When that momentous decision comes down, how much weight will Curry give to past front-office performance? Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Is Bob Myers steering Warriors' ship in right direction?," 7 Mar. 2021 In mid-December, before a key vote by an advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a public debate flared up over what might well be the most momentous policy decision of 2021: how to distribute the Covid-19 vaccine. New York Times, "People Are Dying. Who Do We Save First With the Vaccine?," 24 Dec. 2020 The likely impending approval of two COVID-19 vaccines is being touted as a momentous achievement. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Potential U of M alcohol sales, COVID vaccines, whites-only sect in Murdock," 13 Dec. 2020 But back to that barn, where Eugene makes the momentous decision not to turn Allison in and claim the money, which could save his family’s farm. Jocelyn Noveck, Detroit Free Press, "Margot Robbie’s glamour cuts through the dust in ‘Dreamland’," 13 Nov. 2020 Vanessa Bryant posted a photo of the footwear along with videos of an ecstatic Natalia celebrating the momentous occasion Tuesday on Instagram. Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, "USC-bound Natalia Bryant gets cardinal and gold Kobe sneakers from mother Vanessa," 31 Mar. 2021

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

1631, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for momentous

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The first known use of momentous was in 1631

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Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Momentous.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for momentous



English Language Learners Definition of momentous

: very important : having great or lasting importance


mo·​men·​tous | \ mō-ˈmen-təs How to pronounce momentous (audio) \

Kids Definition of momentous

: very important a momentous decision

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