Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[moh-muh n-ter-ee] /ˈmoʊ mənˌtɛr i/
lasting but a moment; very brief; fleeting:
a momentary glimpse.
that might occur at any moment; ever impending:
to live in fear of momentary annihilation.
effective or recurring at every moment; constant.
Origin of momentary
late Middle English
1425-75; late Middle English momentare < Latin mōmentārius. See moment, -ary
Related forms
momentariness, noun
intermomentary, adjective
nonmomentariness, noun
nonmomentary, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for momentary
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The exaltation is momentary, the cold chill of fact overtakes me.

    The Patient Observer Simeon Strunsky
  • Josephine colored up and looked at him with a momentary surprise.

    White Lies Charles Reade
  • Had the sensation of a night slipped through our brains in the momentary winking of the eyes?

    Northern Travel Bayard Taylor
  • A momentary impression that had struck her so forcibly because it had happened so unexpectedly.

    Virgin Soil Ivan S. Turgenev
  • There was a momentary silence, during which here and there could be heard long in-drawn gasps.

    The Young Railroaders Francis Lovell Coombs
British Dictionary definitions for momentary


/ˈməʊməntərɪ; -trɪ/
lasting for only a moment; temporary
Derived Forms
momentariness, noun
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for momentary

"lasting a moment," mid-15c., from Latin momentarius "of brief duration," from momentum (see moment).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for momentary

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for momentary

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for momentary