• synonyms


[moh-muh n-ter-ee]
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  1. lasting but a moment; very brief; fleeting: a momentary glimpse.
  2. that might occur at any moment; ever impending: to live in fear of momentary annihilation.
  3. effective or recurring at every moment; constant.
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Origin of momentary

1425–75; late Middle English momentare < Latin mōmentārius. See moment, -ary
Related formsmo·men·tar·i·ness, nounin·ter·mo·men·tar·y, adjectivenon·mo·men·tar·i·ness, nounnon·mo·men·tar·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for momentary

short-lived, temporary, transitory, cursory, ephemeral, evanescent, flitting, flying, fugitive, hasty, impermanent, impulsive, instantaneous, passing, quick, short, spasmodic, summary, transient, volatile

Examples from the Web for momentary

Contemporary Examples of momentary

Historical Examples of momentary

British Dictionary definitions for momentary


  1. lasting for only a moment; temporary
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Derived Formsmomentariness, 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

Word Origin and History for momentary


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper