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[moh-muh n-tair-uh-lee, moh-muh n-ter-] /ˌmoʊ mənˈtɛər ə li, ˈmoʊ mənˌtɛr-/
for a moment; briefly:
to pause momentarily.
at any moment; imminently:
expected to occur momentarily.
Origin of momentarily
First recorded in 1645-55; momentary + -ly
Can be confused
currently, immediately, momentarily, now, presently, soon (see synonym study at immediately; see usage note at presently) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for momentarily
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • This had momentarily stunned the animal, but the effect had passed off within ten seconds.

    Unexplored Spain Abel Chapman
  • Hope smiled on him momentarily, but, in his own words: ‘It was only a flash in the night.’

  • Then there was a dull thud as the light was momentarily obscured, and another rabbit caught in a wire was thrown in.

    The Vast Abyss George Manville Fenn
  • For once, Hamilton was susceptible; and he was keenly distressed, momentarily.

    Making People Happy Thompson Buchanan
  • momentarily to rest the eye upon a landscape is not really to see it, for our mind may be quite otherwhere.

    The Gate of Appreciation Carleton Noyes
British Dictionary definitions for momentarily


/ˈməʊməntərəlɪ; -trɪlɪ/
for an instant; temporarily
from moment to moment; every instant
(US & Canadian) very soon
Also (for senses 1, 2) momently (ˈməʊməntlɪ)
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
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Word Origin and History for momentarily

1650s, "for a moment," from momentary + -ly (2). Meaning "at any moment" is from 1928.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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