mo·​ment | \ˈmō-mənt \

Definition of moment 

1a : a minute portion or point of time : instant a moment of dreadful suspense— Graham Greene

b : a comparatively brief period of time moments of solitude

2a : present time at the moment she is at work on her fourth novelHoliday

b : a time of excellence or conspicuousness there's … some deliciously funny moments, but most of it is numbingly subtle— Jess Cagle

3 : importance in influence or effect decisions of moment must be made by our government— L. H. Evans

4 obsolete : a cause or motive of action

5 : a stage in historical or logical development a document of one moment in the history of thought and sensibility in the nineteenth century— T. S. Eliot

6a : tendency or measure of tendency to produce motion especially about a point or axis

b : the product of quantity (such as a force) and the distance to a particular axis or point

7a : 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

b : the expected value of a power of the deviation (see deviation sense b) of a random variable from a fixed value

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Synonyms for moment


occasion, time

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

What remains is a bare-bones mechanical core that still manages to generate a succession of dramatic moments and thorny tactical dilemmas. Owen Duffy, Ars Technica, "Wildlands may be the slickest, simplest fantasy skirmish game ever made," 1 Dec. 2018 Downstairs, the rear of the house offers another winning moment, where glass walls open up the kitchen to the patio. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "’70s house perfect for art collectors asks $1.1M," 21 Nov. 2018 Other stand-out beauty moments: the blue hues on the ends of Momo’s jet-black bob and Chaeyoung’s honey-blonde balayage. Lai Frances, Allure, "A Comprehensive Guide to the Evolution of Twice's Hair and Makeup," 6 Nov. 2018 My staff filled every conceivable moment with campaign stops. Marie Claire, "With One Week Until Election Day, the Boxers Share Advice and Insight," 30 Oct. 2018 Despite being 200 years old, Emma is having something of a cultural moment this week. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "A New Adaptation of Jane Austen's Emma Is in the Works," 26 Oct. 2018 So fans might be surprised to see that the two schools are using this moment to set aside sports and roll out a theme of university unity. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "Just before the Apple Cup, UW and WSU are teaming up with a pro-college message," 21 Nov. 2018 With this groundbreaking moment in American history, however, comes even more barriers that have yet to be confronted. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "Ilhan Omar Wants to Change the Outdated Rule That Bans Hijab in Congress," 19 Nov. 2018 In turn, Evergrande used this moment to seize control of Faraday Future’s operations in China, according to the lawsuit filed on Wednesday. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "Faraday Future employees sue investor over ‘conspiracy’ to destroy the EV startup," 14 Nov. 2018

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

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

History and Etymology for moment

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

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Statistics for moment

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for moment

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

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More Definitions for moment



English Language Learners Definition of moment

: a very short period of time

: a particular time : a precise point in time

: the present time


mo·​ment | \ˈmō-mənt \

Kids Definition of moment

1 : a very brief time A shooting star lasts only a moment.

2 : present time I'm busy at the moment.

3 : importance We met to discuss a subject of great moment.

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Comments on moment

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


living or existing for a long time

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