[moh-muh n-tair-uh-lee, moh-muh n-ter-]


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 confusedcurrently immediately momentarily now presently soon (see synonym study at immediately) (see usage note at presently) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for momentarily

immediately, briefly, temporarily, instantly, now

Examples from the Web for momentarily

Contemporary Examples of momentarily

Historical Examples of momentarily

  • He had discovered years before that he was sometimes able thus to puzzle her momentarily.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "He wants to build," answered Hattie, momentarily encouraged.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • Calendar's moon-like visage was momentarily divested of any trace of color.

    The Black Bag

    Louis Joseph Vance

  • Moist flesh if it chanced to touch iron froze to it momentarily.

    Bride of the Mistletoe

    James Lane Allen

  • Phee-e-al, too, had been only momentarily stunned—he was springing.

    Two Thousand Miles Below

    Charles Willard Diffin

British Dictionary definitions for momentarily



for an instant; temporarily
from moment to moment; every instant
US and 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

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