Meaning of MOMENT in English


mo ‧ ment S1 W1 /ˈməʊmənt $ ˈmoʊ-/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ moment , ↑ momentum ; adjective : ↑ momentary , ↑ momentous ; adverb : ↑ momentarily ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: French ; Origin: Latin momentum ; ⇨ ↑ momentum ]

1 . POINT IN TIME a particular point in time:

It was one of the most exciting moments in his life.

at this/that moment (=used for emphasis)

Just at that moment there was a knock on the door.

She may be in trouble at this very moment and trying to call you.

I remember the moment when I first saw him after the operation.

Quinn always seems to be in the right place at the crucial moment.

I just this moment (=only a very short time ago) arrived and already Dan wants to know when I’m leaving.

At this moment in time it would be inappropriate to comment on the situation.

From that moment on (=after that time) we were the best of friends.

► Do not say 'in that moment' when you mean ‘at that particular time’. Say at that moment : At that moment, everything stopped.

2 . SHORT TIME a very short period of time:

He was here a moment ago.

Can you spare a few moments to answer some questions?

in a moment (=very soon)

I’ll come back to that point in a moment.

for a moment

It was quiet for a moment, then Rae spoke.

after a moment

‘I don’t understand,’ said Louise after a moment.

A moment later we heard a splash.

wait/just a moment (=used when you want someone to wait a short time while you do or say something)

Just a moment; let me put these away first.

We have to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice (=very quickly) .

3 . at the moment British English especially spoken , American English formal now:

Julia’s on holiday in Spain at the moment.

At the moment, the situation in Haiti is very tense.

4 . for the moment used to say that something is happening or is true now but will probably change in the future:

Well, for the moment we’re just friends.

For the moment the rain had stopped.

5 . the moment (that) somebody does something as soon as someone does something:

He said he’d phone you the moment he got home.

6 . the last moment if you do something at the last moment or if something happens at the last moment, it happens at the last possible time

at the last moment

The operation was cancelled at the last moment.

She always leaves everything to the last moment.

7 . (at) any moment extremely soon:

The plumber should be here any moment now.

The roof could collapse at any moment.

8 . OPPORTUNITY [usually singular] a particular time when you have a chance to do something:

His wife Denise was there to share his big moment (=opportunity to do something great) .

choose/pick your moment (=try to choose the best time to do something)

He picked his moment carefully to tell them the news.

This was her moment and she knew she had to take it.

9 . moment of madness/weakness/panic etc a short period of time when you do not feel or behave as normal and often do or say something which you later wish you had not done or said

in a moment of something

In a moment of madness I agreed to go with him.

He experienced a brief moment of panic.

10 . one moment ... the next/from one moment to the next used to say that a situation changes very suddenly, often in a way which you do not expect or cannot explain:

One moment she’s kissing me, the next she doesn’t want to see me again.

You never know what’s going to happen from one moment to the next.

11 . not believe/think/do something for a/one moment especially spoken used to say that you did not believe, expect etc something at all:

He didn’t fool me for a moment.

She had never for one moment imagined that it could happen to her.

12 . of the moment the person, idea, word etc of the moment is the one that is most important or popular at the present time:

They interview personalities on a topic of the moment.

the mood of the moment

13 . have its/your moments to have periods of being good or interesting:

a movie that had its moments

14 . not a moment too soon almost too late:

The ambulance finally arrived, and not a moment too soon.

15 . the moment of truth the time when you will find out if something will work properly, be successful etc

16 . of great moment old-fashioned important

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 1)

■ adjectives

▪ right/perfect

I’m just waiting for the right moment to tell her.


The moment is not quite right just yet.

▪ an opportune moment (=a good time to do something)

I was waiting for an opportune moment to leave.

▪ a historic moment (=a moment that is important in history)

The fall of the Berlin wall was a historic moment.

▪ a memorable moment

There have been many memorable moments in this year’s Olymics.

▪ the exact/precise moment

Her stomach chose that precise moment to make a loud noise.

▪ the very moment (=used for emphasizing that something happened at a particular time)

I could tell something was wrong from the very moment I walked in through the front door.

▪ the present moment (=now)

At the present moment, there are 500 students at the school.

▪ an important moment

This was probably the most important moment in his life.

▪ a critical/crucial moment (=a very important moment)

This was a critical moment in the country’s history.

▪ a defining moment (=something that shows the real character or purpose of something)

The win was a defining moment in the boxer’s career.

▪ sb’s finest moment (=when someone was most successful or admired)

The performance was one of the band’s finest moments.

▪ sb’s proudest moment (=when someone did the thing they are most proud of)

My proudest moment was when my daughter was born.

▪ the worst moment

Standing on the edge waiting to do your bungee jump is the worst moment.

■ verbs

▪ capture the moment (=to take a picture, describe something etc that will remind you of a particular time)

They captured the moment on film.

▪ enjoy the moment

She found herself laughing with him, enjoying the moment.

▪ savour the moment (=enjoy the moment)

He seemed to savour every moment of their conversation.

▪ relive the moment (=experience something again by thinking about it, talking about it etc)

In court she had to relive the moment her son was murdered.

▪ choose a moment to do something (=do something at a particular time)

She always seemed to choose the worst moment to interrupt his thoughts.

▪ dread a moment (=feel anxious or worried about something that will happen)

She was dreading the moment when she would have to fire him.

■ phrases

▪ just this/that moment (=only a very short time ago)

I had just that moment arrived.

▪ at this moment in time (=now)

At this moment in time we cannot proceed with the proposal.

▪ from that moment on (=after that time)

From that moment on I saw very little of Dean.

▪ moment to moment/moment by moment (=used for emphasizing that something changes quickly)

The colours of the sunset changed moment to moment.

▪ every waking moment (=all the time you are awake)

He spent every waking moment in the lab.

▪ at a given moment (=at any particular time)

There was no variety at all - you knew exactly what you would be doing at any given moment of the week.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ verbs

▪ take a moment (=use a short time)

Coleman took a moment to reply.

▪ have a moment (=have a short time to use)

Can you come and see me when you have a moment?

▪ wait a moment

Wait a moment while I get my coat.

▪ pause a moment (=stop speaking or doing something for a short time)

Lisa paused a moment, then said 'yes'.

▪ hesitate a moment (=not speak or do something for a short time because you are unsure of what to say or do)

Paul hesitated a moment then followed her.

▪ spare a moment (=used when asking someone if they have a short time available to spend with you)

Can you spare a moment to go through some figures with me?

■ phrases

▪ just a moment (=used when telling someone to wait)

Just a moment, I’ll go and get her.

▪ at a moment’s notice (=very quickly)

Fire fighters need to be able to get ready at a moment’s notice.

▪ a moment ago

I saw him outside just a moment ago.

▪ there’s never a dull moment (=something is always exciting or full of activity)

There’s never a dull moment with Chris around!

■ adjectives

▪ a brief moment

For a brief moment, he looked directly at her.

▪ a fleeting moment (=a very short time)

For a fleeting moment she wanted to run away.

▪ a long moment

He was silent for a long moment before replying.

▪ a spare moment (=short period of time when you are not doing other things)

She spent every spare moment in the library.

• • •


■ a time when something happens

▪ time a time when something happens or when you should do something:

The last time I saw her she was in high school.


It’s time for you to go to bed.


The best time to visit Scotland is in late May.

▪ occasion a time when something happens. Occasion is more formal than time :

They have been seen together on several occasions.


The last occasion the two teams met, the Giants won easily.

▪ moment a particular point in time when something happens:

At that moment (=at exactly that time) , the door bell rang.


The next moment she was gone.

▪ point a particular time during a longer period of time:

At one point during the play she completely forgot her lines.


the lowest point of the holiday

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.