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moment

[moh-muh nt]
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noun
  1. an indefinitely short period of time; instant: I'll be with you in a moment.
  2. the present time or any other particular time (usually preceded by the): He is busy at the moment.
  3. a definite period or stage, as in a course of events; juncture: at this moment in history.
  4. importance or consequence: a decision of great moment.
  5. a particular time or period of success, excellence, fame, etc.: His big moment came in the final game.
  6. Statistics. the mean or expected value of the product formed by multiplying together a set of one or more variates or variables each to a specified power.
  7. Philosophy.
    1. an aspect of a thing.
    2. Obsolete.an essential or constituent factor.
  8. Mechanics.
    1. a tendency to produce motion, especially about an axis.
    2. the product of a physical quantity and its directed distance from an axis: moment of area; moment of mass.

Origin of moment

1300–50; Middle English < Latin mōmentum motion, cause of motion, hence, influence, importance, essential factor, moment of time, equivalent to mō- (variant stem of movēre to move) + -mentum -ment

Synonyms

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1. second, jiffy, trice, flash, twinkling. See minute1. 4. significance, weight, gravity. See importance.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for moment

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • From the first moment you spoke, I have felt this mysterious power.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Philothea had listened so earnestly, that for a moment all other thoughts were expelled from her mind.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • In this holy atmosphere we paused for a moment in silent reverence.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Philæmon averted his face for a moment, and struggled hard with his feelings.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • A moment later Percival remembered his last words, also his reference to Blythe.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson


British Dictionary definitions for moment

moment

noun
  1. a short indefinite period of timehe'll be here in a moment
  2. a specific instant or point in timeat that moment the doorbell rang
  3. the moment the present point of timeat the moment it's fine
  4. import, significance, or valuea man of moment
  5. physics
    1. a tendency to produce motion, esp rotation about a point or axis
    2. the product of a physical quantity, such as force or mass, and its distance from a fixed reference pointSee also moment of inertia
  6. statistics the mean of a specified power of the deviations of all the values of a variable in its frequency distribution. The power of the deviations indicates the order of the moment and the deviations may be from the origin (giving a moment about the origin) or from the mean (giving a moment about the mean)

Word Origin

C14: from Old French, from Latin mōmentum, from movēre to move
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for moment

n.

mid-14c., "very brief portion of time, instant," in moment of time, from Old French moment (12c.) "moment, minute; importance, weight, value" or directly from Latin momentum "movement, motion; moving power; alteration, change;" also "short time, instant" (also source of Spanish, Italian momento), contraction of *movimentum, from movere "to move" (see move (v.)). Some (but not OED) explain the sense evolution of the Latin word by notion of a particle so small it would just "move" the pointer of a scale, which led to the transferred sense of "minute time division." Sense of "importance, 'weight' " is attested in English from 1520s.

Phrase never a dull moment first recorded 1889 in Jerome K. Jerome's "Three Men in a Boat." Phrase moment of truth first recorded 1932 in Hemingway's "Death in the Afternoon," from Spanish el momento de la verdad, the final sword-thrust in a bull-fight.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with moment

moment

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.