moratorium

noun
mor·​a·​to·​ri·​um | \ ˌmȯr-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əm How to pronounce moratorium (audio) , ˌmär-\
plural moratoriums or moratoria\ ˌmȯr-​ə-​ˈtȯr-​ē-​ə How to pronounce moratoria (audio) , ˌmär-​ \

Definition of moratorium

1a : a legally authorized period of delay in the performance of a legal obligation or the payment of a debt
b : a waiting period set by an authority
2 : a suspension of activity

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Examples of moratorium in a Sentence

In 2000, Illinois declared a moratorium on executions after 13 death-row inmates were exonerated. — Evan Thomas et al., Newsweek, 19 Nov. 2007 But one country's moratorium is another country's protectionism, and the U.S. is suspicious of Europe's actions. — Jeffrey Kluger, Time, 13 Sept. 1999 The striped bass are recovering strongly after a moratorium on catching them. — John P. Wiley, Jr., Smithsonian, November 1993 Her office was crammed with ungraded school papers, some of them dating back five years. She was far behind in her work—so far behind that she had declared a moratorium on school work until she could catch up on her grading. — Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., The Sirens of Titan, 1959 The treaty calls for a nuclear testing moratorium. the director of the blood bank called for a moratorium in donations until the surplus could be used up
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Recent Examples on the Web

Last year the European Parliament called for a moratorium on deep-sea mining until the impact on marine environments, biodiversity and human activities at sea are better understood. Adam Minter, Twin Cities, "Adam Minter: Big Tech needs to save the deep seas," 11 Aug. 2019 His town lifted its moratorium but has seen scant interest from miners. Mark Dent, WIRED, "The Hard-Luck Texas Town That Bet on Bitcoin—and Lost," 11 July 2019 At its meeting on June 25, the council will consider easing its delivery moratorium for those approved under Measure Z and will also consider allowing cannabis testing labs in the city. Paul Sisson, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Vista council to consider fixing cannabis delivery catch 22," 25 June 2019 At first glance this might appear to be a boon for candidates in California, where the governor was applauded this year for his moratorium on all executions. Caitlin Conant, CBS News, "2020 Daily Trail Markers: Biden draws fire as focus turns to South Carolina," 19 June 2019 Utah was the first state to put a prisoner to death following that moratorium, when Gary Gilmore was executed by firing squad on Jan. 17, 1977. NBC News, "Ruling pushes death row inmate Ronald Watson Lafferty closer to Utah's firing squad," 13 Aug. 2019 When Barr announced on Thursday that the DOJ will be bringing back the death penalty after reversing a 16-year moratorium, five individuals were in the same breath scheduled to executed using pentobarbital. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Rep. Ayanna Pressley Introduces Bill To Put An End To Federal Death Penalty," 26 July 2019 The Justice Department’s decision to resume executing death row inmates for the first time since 2003 ended an informal moratorium, even as the nation sees a broad shift away from capital punishment. Chicago Tribune Staff, chicagotribune.com, "Resumption of federal death penalty has implications for two prisoners convicted of crimes in Illinois," 25 July 2019 One of those recommendations was reversing the moratorium, which was upheld in court. Andrew Nicla, azcentral, "Bill to ban new uranium mining claims near the Grand Canyon passes House committee," 17 July 2019

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

1875, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for moratorium

New Latin, from Late Latin, neuter of moratorius dilatory, from Latin morari to delay, from mora delay

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Dictionary Entries near moratorium

morass

morass ore

morat

moratorium

Moratuwa

Morava

Moravia

Statistics for moratorium

Last Updated

3 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for moratorium

The first known use of moratorium was in 1875

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More Definitions for moratorium

moratorium

noun

English Language Learners Definition of moratorium

: a time when a particular activity is not allowed

moratorium

noun
mor·​a·​to·​ri·​um | \ ˌmȯr-ə-ˈtȯr-ē-əm How to pronounce moratorium (audio) \
plural moratoriums; plural moratoria

Legal Definition of moratorium

1a : an authorized period of delay in the performance of an obligation (as the paying of a debt)
b : a waiting period set by an authority
2 : a suspension of activity

History and Etymology for moratorium

New Latin, from Late Latin, neuter of moratorius dilatory, from morari to delay, from mora delay

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