momentum

noun
mo·​men·​tum | \mō-ˈmen-təm, mə-\
plural momenta\-​ˈmen-​tə \ 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.

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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

That creates a negative perception, negative momentum. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: NBC journalists Chuck Todd, Andrea Mitchell and Hallie Jackson on Recode Decode," 5 Dec. 2018 But stocks with strong momentum have a tendency to get carried away—as the FANGs did, and how—then correct hard, so their fall tells us little about the future. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "How Worried Should You Be About a Stock-Market Selloff?," 23 Nov. 2018 The forces align and momentum builds Johnson’s push for public transit funding would, in some form or another, be embraced by the next three presidents, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Public transit’s missed opportunity," 20 Nov. 2018 Further Reading Visitor from another solar system accelerated away from the Sun The new paper investigates the possibility of solar radiation pressure, or the momentum transfer of photons striking an object. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Predictably, online media go nuts over ‘Oumuamua and Harvard scientists," 6 Nov. 2018 As the password alternatives continue to roll out and gain steam, the question that remains is: Which alternative will gain enough momentum to become the new de facto standard? Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Is This Finally the Beginning of the End for the Password?," 24 Sep. 2018 Undoubtedly, the pop-up was a harbinger of the Uco Valley’s growing culinary momentum. Todd Plummer, Condé Nast Traveler, "Itinerary: Wine Tasting in Argentina's Uco Valley," 11 Sep. 2018 There would be a lot of additional mass and momentum involved, after all. Mike Wall, Space.com, "Asteroid Billiards: This Wild Idea to Protect Earth Just Might Work," 24 Aug. 2018 Friends of the Underline A park project bringing momentum to Miami Metaphors of movement and transition run throughout the plans for the Underline, fitting for an infrastructure project underneath a rail corridor. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Miami’s Underline underscores potential of park projects," 19 Oct. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of momentum

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for momentum

New Latin, from Latin, movement

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Statistics for momentum

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for momentum

The first known use of momentum was in 1610

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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 \

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- \
plural momenta\-​ˈment-​ə \ 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

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Comments on momentum

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