momentum

noun
mo·​men·​tum | \ mō-ˈmen-təm How to pronounce momentum (audio) , mə-\
plural momenta\ mō-​ˈmen-​tə How to pronounce momenta (audio) , mə-​ \ or momentums

Definition of momentum

1 : a property (see property sense 1a) of a moving body that the body has by virtue of its mass (see mass entry 2 sense 1c) and motion and that is equal to the product of the body's mass and velocity broadly : a property of a moving body that determines the length of time required to bring it to rest when under the action of a constant force or moment
2 : strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events The wagon gained momentum as it rolled down the hill.

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of momentum in a Sentence

The company has had a successful year and hopes to maintain its momentum by introducing new products. The movie loses momentum toward the end.

Recent Examples on the Web

Though momentum seems to be shifting in the pro-life direction, such a moment likely is still far off. Alexandra Desanctis, National Review, "Corporations Are People, Unborn Children Aren’t," 11 June 2019 This week many residents continued to voice their frustrations, despite what appears to be the most momentum on the issue in decades. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Trump EPA releases blueprint for stemming Tijuana River pollution that routinely fouls San Diego beaches," 10 June 2019 Following the goal, England kept the ball very well and prevented their opponents from building too much momentum. SI.com, "England 2-1 Scotland: Report, Ratings and Reaction as Lionesses Make Winning Start to World Cup," 9 June 2019 Florida State catcher Matheu Nelson made a perfect throw to third to pickoff DiGiacomo, halting all LSU momentum. Brody Miller, nola.com, "LSU baseball season ends with mistake-filled 5-4 loss to Florida State," 9 June 2019 The Pirates looked like a weary, overmatched team that badly needed something to go right to get some momentum. Gentry Estes, The Courier-Journal, "3 takeaways from Louisville baseball's dream NCAA Super Regional," 8 June 2019 Cosby was more than aware that momentum was gathering in the media and that his past was becoming present again. Longreads, "How the Cosby Story Finally Went Viral — And Why It Took So Long," 7 June 2019 With Derrick Willies sidelined, Baker’s availability right now is a plus to build momentum for training camp. Dan Labbe, cleveland.com, "Browns minicamp offensive report: Austin Corbett works at right guard again," 4 June 2019 Omayra talks quickly, as if trying to build up momentum that will carry her safely to the end of her story. Nathaniel Penn, Popular Mechanics, "The Day the Town Blew Up," 3 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'momentum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of momentum

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for momentum

New Latin, from Latin, movement

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about momentum

Statistics for momentum

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for momentum

The first known use of momentum was in 1610

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for momentum

momentum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of momentum

: the strength or force that something has when it is moving
: the strength or force that allows something to continue or to grow stronger or faster as time passes
physics : the property that a moving object has due to its mass and its motion

momentum

noun
mo·​men·​tum | \ mō-ˈmen-təm How to pronounce momentum (audio) \

Kids Definition of momentum

: the force that a moving body has because of its weight and motion

momentum

noun
mo·​men·​tum | \ mō-ˈment-əm, mə-ˈment- How to pronounce momentum (audio) \
plural momenta\ -​ˈment-​ə How to pronounce momenta (audio) \ or momentums

Medical Definition of momentum

: a property of a moving body that the body has by virtue of its mass and motion and that is equal to the product of the body's mass and velocity broadly : a property of a moving body that determines the length of time required to bring it to rest when under the action of a constant force

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on momentum

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!