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.

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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 Devin Leake, the company’s chief science officer, said the startup is benefiting from the momentum of cutting-edge computing methods. Sara Castellanos, WSJ, "Where Computing Is Headed—Beyond Quantum," 4 Feb. 2020 Before that throw, the momentum of the game had turned heavily against the Chiefs. Kevin Draper, New York Times, "Third-and-Long, Then the Pass That Saved the Chiefs," 2 Feb. 2020 Oregon State attempts to capitalize on the momentum of a road win at Stanford when the Beavers play California at 1 p.m. Thursday at Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif. oregonlive, "Oregon State Beavers men’s basketball at California Bears: Live updates," 1 Feb. 2020 The city has so far only committed to four years as host of the TAAF Winter Games and hopes the 2021 games can build on the momentum of this year’s games. Yvette Orozco, Houston Chronicle, "Pearland pleased with growth of Winter Games," 24 Jan. 2020 The continued momentum of the tractor trapped his leg, and the tire progressively ran up over his right leg to the knee, where the tractor came to rest. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "Injured University School worker’s tractor accident detailed: Hunting Valley Police Blotter," 24 Jan. 2020 This protected the soldiers from enemy fire, particularly nuclear and chemical weapons, while preserving the momentum of a successful attack. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Army Keeps Trying—and Failing—To Replace the M2 Bradley," 23 Jan. 2020 Jemison recalled her childhood on the South Side of Chicago heading into the 1960s, a decade marked by the momentum of the civil rights movement and the space race. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'When was the last time you looked up?' Mae Jemison delivers MLK Day speech at UW-Madison," 21 Jan. 2020 The woman behind the amendment, National Women’s Party (NWP) founder Alice Paul, wanted to direct the momentum of the franchise campaign to securing women’s equality at large in the Constitution. Fabiola Cineas, The New Republic, "The Equal Rights Amendment May Have Found Its Moment," 16 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for momentum

Time Traveler

The first known use of momentum was in 1610

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Statistics for momentum

Last Updated

8 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Momentum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/momentum?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=m&file=moment07. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for momentum

momentum

noun
How to pronounce momentum (audio)

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

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