Meaning of MOMENT in English


ˈmōmənt noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin momentum movement, motion, moment, influence, from earlier (assumed) movimentum, from movēre to move + -mentum -ment — more at move


a. : a minute portion of time

the moment stretched out to a minute, the minute to an hour — Hesketh Pearson

a moment of dreadful suspense — Graham Greene

b. : a point of time : instant

to us … the moment 8:17 a.m. means something — Aldous Huxley

at this very moment of his life's lowest ebb — Osbert Sitwell

if the great famine had not come along at that particular moment — Paul Blanshard

c. : a comparatively brief period of time

this whole moment of thought hardly lasted five minutes — Carl Jonas

in moments of solitude when I was milking the cows — David Fairchild

a presidential candidate … must symbolize the forces seeking expression during his moment in history — V.L.Albjerg

d. : the present time — usually used with the

at the moment she is at work on her fourth novel — Holiday

the … flavor so much in fashion at the moment — Kenneth Hince

a catchword of the moment — J.A.R.Pimlott

e. : a particular period (as of importance, significance, or pleasure)

all had their moments when their subject … made them greater than their normal selves — R.E.Priestley

sailors have their moments as in any seaboard town — American Guide Series: New Hampshire

2. obsolete : a minute portion or part : particle

every little moment of the earth — Thomas Blundeville

3. : importance in influence or effect : consequence , consideration , weight

decisions of moment must be made by our government — L.H.Evans

meanings which are … of no moment to the student — Edward Sapir

taught men to reckon virtue of more moment than security — W.F.Hambly

the political issues of their day seemed … of enormous moment — Christopher Hollis

4. obsolete : a cause or motive of action : an influential point or consideration : a deciding factor

I have seen her die twenty times upon far poorer moment — Shakespeare

5. : a definite period or point in a course of events: as

a. : a stage in historical development (as of an institution)

a document of one moment in the history of thought and sensibility in the nineteenth century — T.S.Eliot

b. : a stage in logical development, in cognition, or in the growing adequacy of thought

c. : a phase, aspect, or partial apprehension of a subject or thing

d. in existentialist theology : a timeless point of decision within the inner subjectivity of a person when he freely enacts his relationship to eternity


a. : tendency or measure of tendency to produce motion especially about a point or axis

b. : the product of quantity (as a force) and the distance to a particular axis or point — see moment of a couple , moment of a force , moment of inertia

7. : an essential or constituent element (as of a complex conceptual entity)

the understanding is a necessary moment in the reason — Bernard Bosanquet

8. : the average or sum of the deviations or some power of the deviations of the elements of a frequency distribution from a specified norm

Synonyms: see importance

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.