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 Major League Soccer and the National Women’s Soccer League are continuing to require players to remain in market, but are extending their training moratoriums. Jamie Goldberg, oregonlive, "MLS, NWSL extend training moratoriums, but require players to remain in market," 15 Mar. 2020 Walsh also issued a moratorium on business travel for city employees until next Friday. Joshua Fechter, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio City Councilman Peláez to self-quarantine as city issues coronavirus directives to its employees," 14 Mar. 2020 The Big Ten canceled all games and events, and on Friday issued a moratorium on organized team events through at least April 6. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Why Ohio State AD Gene Smith supported shutting down college sports, and what decisions come next," 13 Mar. 2020 Lawsuits were filed in Illinois and Virginia, and the attorney general of New Jersey issued a moratorium against the app in that state. Kashmir Hill, New York Times, "Before Clearview Became a Police Tool, It Was a Secret Plaything of the Rich," 5 Mar. 2020 Large corporations have issued a moratorium on international travel and conferences, and some are even asking people to work from home. Curtis Tate, USA TODAY, "Travel to Europe amid coronavirus outbreak: Is it OK to go, or better to wait?," 4 Mar. 2020 Prosecutors have continued to seek the death penalty in L.A. County after Gov. Gavin Newsom, in a controversial move, issued a moratorium on death row executions. Alene Tchekmedyian, latimes.com, "Under D.A. Jackie Lacey, only people of color have been sentenced to death, report says," 18 June 2019 Advocacy group including the American Civil Liberties Union have been lobbying across the country for a moratorium on the technology, pointing to evidence of potential racial bias and warning of the growth of a surveillance state. Ryan Tracy, WSJ, "Lawmakers See Benefits in Facial Recognition at Borders, Despite Concerns," 6 Feb. 2020 In 2017, the city passed a six-month moratorium on vacation rental licenses. al, "Deadly house party underscores rising concern in Alabama over Airbnb, short-term rentals," 19 Dec. 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

18 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Moratorium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moratorium. Accessed 29 Mar. 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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