momentum

[ moh-men-tuhm ]
See synonyms for momentum on Thesaurus.com
noun,plural mo·men·ta [moh-men-tuh], /moʊˈmɛn tə/, mo·men·tums.
1. force or speed of movement; impetus, as of a physical object or course of events: The car gained momentum going downhill. Her career lost momentum after two unsuccessful films.

2. Also called linear momentum .Mechanics. a quantity expressing the motion of a body or system, equal to the product of the mass of a body and its velocity, and for a system equal to the vector sum of the products of mass and velocity of each particle in the system.

1. Philosophy. moment (def. 7).

Origin of momentum

1
First recorded in 1690–1700; from Latin mōmentum; see moment

Words Nearby momentum

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

British Dictionary definitions for momentum

momentum

/ (məʊˈmɛntəm) /

nounplural -ta (-tə) or -tums
1. physics the product of a body's mass and its velocity: Symbol: p See also angular momentum

2. the impetus of a body resulting from its motion

1. driving power or strength

Origin of momentum

1
C17: from Latin: movement; see moment

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

Scientific definitions for momentum

momentum

[ mō-mĕntəm ]

Plural momenta momentums
1. A vector quantity that expresses the relation of the velocity of a body, wave, field, or other physical system, to its energy. The direction of the momentum of a single object indicates the direction of its motion. Momentum is a conserved quantity (it remains constant unless acted upon by an outside force), and is related by Noether's theorem to translational invariance. In classical mechanics, momentum is defined as mass times velocity. The theory of Special Relativity uses the concept of relativistic mass. The momentum of photons, which are massless, is equal to their energy divided by the speed of light. In quantum mechanics, momentum more generally refers to a mathematical operator applied to the wave equation describing a physical system and corresponding to an observable; solutions to the equation using this operator provide the vector quantity traditionally called momentum. In all of these applications, momentum is sometimes called linear momentum. See also angular momentum impulse.