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 The moratorium, originally set to end March 31, was extended last week to April 19. Los Angeles Times, "Unhappiest hour: What the coronavirus shutdown has meant for two L.A. bars," 26 Mar. 2020 Convalescent care facilities moratorium Council approved a temporary, six-month moratorium on issuing zoning, occupancy, conditional use or building permit approvals for convalescent care facilities in all zoning and special planning districts. Brian Lisik, cleveland, "Brunswick seeks more funding for Plum Creek trail project," 25 Feb. 2020 The moratorium, though, applies only to areas the Port controls. Anchorage Daily News, "Sea-Tac is first airport to resist federal push for facial recognition and other biometric technologies," 12 Dec. 2019 The laws preventing non-renewals, as well as Lara’s call for a voluntary moratorium, only apply to insurance companies regulated by the state. Kathleen Pender, SFChronicle.com, "As California homeowners lose insurance due to wildfire risk, the state is stepping in," 5 Dec. 2019 The moratorium, enacted in December 2018, is aimed at allowing city officials to update land use codes for the 18 zoning districts of which it is comprised. Pratik Joshi, The Denver Post, "Boulder’s commercial real estate market is thriving," 23 Sep. 2019 Here, between 1951 and 1992—when President George H.W. Bush signed congressional legislation mandating a moratorium on U.S. nuclear weapons tests—the American government (and, occasionally, the British) would detonate 1,021 nuclear devices. Matt Farwell, The New Republic, "How to Sneak Up on Area 51," 20 Sep. 2019 Reaching a compromise, the group proposed that: States should consider adopting a 5-year, renewable moratorium on the development, deployment, transfer, and use of anti-personnel lethal autonomous weapon systems . . . Robert Zubrin, National Review, "The Real Robot Threat," 18 Sep. 2019 Ball in June approved a measure filed by Councilwoman Liz Walsh to extend the moratorium by three months, ending on Oct. 26. Erin B. Logan, baltimoresun.com, "County executive, councilwoman file competing bills to address development’s impact on Ellicott City flooding," 26 Aug. 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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Time Traveler for moratorium

Time Traveler

The first known use of moratorium was in 1875

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Statistics for moratorium

Last Updated

1 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moratorium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moratorium. Accessed 1 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for moratorium

moratorium

noun
How to pronounce moratorium (audio)

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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