View synonyms for momentarily


[ moh-muhn-tair-uh-lee, moh-muhn-ter- ]


  1. for a moment; briefly:

    to pause momentarily.

  2. at any moment; imminently:

    expected to occur momentarily.

  3. Now Rare. instantly.


/ -trɪlɪ; ˈməʊməntərəlɪ /


  1. for an instant; temporarily
  2. from moment to moment; every instant
  3. very soon
“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 History and Origins

Origin of momentarily1

First recorded in 1645–55; momentary + -ly
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Example Sentences

Farmers, seed manufacturers, real estate developers and a few homeowners benefit, at least momentarily, but the gap between what the climate can destroy and what money can replace is growing.

Besides our vigilance about masking, it was a momentarily magical return to the before times.

From Eater

The exchanged gluon might momentarily split into a “virtual” quark pair, for instance, before reconstituting itself in a flash.

Magnetic resonance imaging uses a powerful magnetic field to align protons in a patient’s body in a certain direction and then uses radio waves to momentarily knock these protons out of alignment.

From Fortune

During rapid eye movements, the brain momentarily blinds us so that we don’t see our surroundings jump.

Somebody yanks Chan and elbows him and he is momentarily distracted trying to apprehend his assailant.

When asked about how his announcement from last November was affecting the race, Michaud seemed momentarily at a loss.

While attempting to pull a bin of canned food toward him, Bob is momentarily pulled underwater by a walker sneak-attack.

They are told that this event is important, and they may, momentarily, set aside their skepticism.

Scourges, he says, “are killers who act, momentarily, as agents freed from sacred order and its commanding truths.”

He had been momentarily forgetting care; was speaking gaily to his wife as they entered.

A frown momentarily darkened the cloudless brow of Aristide Pujol.

The eye of Sin Sin Wa turned momentarily in her direction, but otherwise he did not stir a muscle.

The observation passed momentarily unnoticed, for Maude, whom Lady Hartledon had been obliged to release, would not be pacified.

Wilder was so touched by this burst of confidence that he momentarily forgot his happy thought.


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