View synonyms for moment


[ moh-muhnt ]


  1. an indefinitely short period of time; instant:

    I'll be with you in a moment.

    Synonyms: twinkling, flash, trice, jiffy, second

  2. Usually the moment. the present time or any other particular time:

    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.

    Synonyms: momentousness, magnitude, weight, significance

  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.


/ ˈməʊmənt /


  1. a short indefinite period of time

    he'll be here in a moment

  2. a specific instant or point in time

    at that moment the doorbell rang

  3. the moment
    the present point of time

    at the moment it's fine

  4. import, significance, or value

    a 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 point See 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 )

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Word History and Origins

Origin of moment1

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English, Middle French, from Latin mōmentum “motion, cause of motion,” hence, “influence, importance, essential factor, moment of time,” from movimentum (unattested), equivalent to mō- (variant stem of the verb movēre move ) + -mentum -ment

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Word History and Origins

Origin of moment1

C14: from Old French, from Latin mōmentum, from movēre to move

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Synonym Study

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Example Sentences

You’ve got to play in the moment, and we’re really good at that.

There have been some moments where I was able to take a step back and look at all that’s happened.

From José Feliciano at the 1968 World Series to Whitney Houston at the Super Bowl in 1991, from moments both roiling and patriotic, there is a tradition here, and stripping sports of that feels too of the moment, too quick.

I’d like to thank my boys out here for doing everything right and getting us to this moment.

Neither at the moment, though my three-year plan involves adopting a cat!

In that country at that moment, the Catholics have practically disappeared.

But Krauss said that from the moment he and the other scientists arrived on the island, they never saw anything untoward.

The massacre of cartoonists at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo is a crystallizing moment.

At the moment, the only chance I get is when I go do Late Night with Seth Meyers.

And then I met him before I started doing the impression of him when he was a guest on SNL for a moment.

He was too drowsy to hold the thought more than a moment in his mind, much less to reflect upon it.

They are very urgent questions; our sons and daughters will have to begin to deal with them from the moment they leave college.

Her eyes, for a moment, fixed themselves with a horrid conviction of a wide and nameless treachery.

The thought seemed to produce the dreaded object, for next moment a large hummock appeared right ahead.

At this moment an extraordinary commotion began among the watches.


Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

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