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 That movement unsuccessfully lobbied the Obama administration to issue the moratorium that Warren now supports. David L. Bahnsen, National Review, "The Warren Fracking Ban: On Public Lands, and Heck, Everywhere Else," 28 Jan. 2020 Over the next few years, the city council repeatedly extended the moratorium. Alison Griswold, Quartz, "The last major city in North America without Uber is about to get Uber," 24 Jan. 2020 The highly selective purchase process and the two-year resale moratorium have meant the market for Ford GTs is even tighter than the low production volume would indicate. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Ford GTs sold for $450,000 three years ago. Now, they're worth more than $1 million," 22 Jan. 2020 The utilities committee's ranking minority member — Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington — led the bipartisan effort to defeat the moratorium last year. Sarah Bowman, Indianapolis Star, "Bill that could keep coal plants running longer passes out of committee, heads to House floor," 22 Jan. 2020 For years after the international moratorium on whaling was adopted in 1986, only Norway allowed commercial whaling. Joe Roman, The Conversation, "Iceland didn’t hunt any whales in 2019 – and public appetite for whale meat is fading," 21 Jan. 2020 Last month, several business owners along North Avenue asked the village to reconsider, which led the village board to debate whether to institute the moratorium on marijuana businesses. Steve Schering, chicagotribune.com, "Oak Park places moratorium on marijuana businesses, will study additional regulations," 3 Dec. 2019 But tenant groups wanted the moratorium retroactive to March, when the state bill was first unveiled to the public. Andrew Khouri, Los Angeles Times, "New L.A. ordinance slaps moratorium on evictions ahead of Jan. 1," 22 Oct. 2019 As for Sunday, linebacker Anthony Barr isn’t too worried about the moratorium affecting much. Chris Tomasson, Twin Cities, "Temporary NFL pyrotechnics ban will alter Vikings’ player introductions Sunday," 20 Sep. 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

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moratorium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moratorium. Accessed 18 Feb. 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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