- An example of a moment is a thirty-second pause during a walk to look at the sunset.
- An example of a moment is the time of the civil rights movement.
The definition of a moment is a brief period of time, or a specific point in time.
- a brief but indefinite period of time; instant
- a definite point in time or in a series of events
- a brief time of being important or outstanding
- importance; consequence: news of great moment
- Mech. the product, as a torque, of some physical quantity and its distance from the origin of coordinates or an axis
- Philos. any constituent element of a complex entity or process
Origin of momentMiddle English from Classical Latin momentum, movement, impulse, brief space of time, importance from an unverified form movimentum from movere, to move
the present or the immediate future
- A brief, indefinite interval of time.
- a. A specific point in time, especially the present time: He is not here at the moment.b. A point in time that is gratifying or noteworthy: Even working on a dictionary has its moments.c. An occasion affording an opportunity: viewed the blunder as a teachable moment.
- A particular period of importance, influence, or significance in a series of events or developments: a great moment in history; waiting for her big moment.
- Outstanding significance or value; importance: a discovery of great moment.
- A brief period of time that is characterized by a quality, such as excellence, suitability, or distinction: a lackluster performance that nevertheless had its moments.
- Philosophy a. An essential or constituent element, as of a complex idea.b. A phase or aspect of a logically developing process.
- Abbr. M Physics a. The product of a quantity, such as force or mass, and its perpendicular distance from a reference point.b. The tendency to cause rotation about a point or axis.
- Statistics The expected value of a positive integer power of a random variable. The first moment of a random variable is the mean of its probability distribution.
Origin of momentMiddle English from Old French from Latin mōmentum from movimentum ; see momentum .
moment instant minute 1second 1jiffy flash
These nouns denote a brief interval of time. A moment is an indeterminately short but significant period: I'll be with you in a moment. Instant is a period of time almost too brief to detect; it implies haste: He hesitated for just an instant. Minute is often interchangable with moment and second with instant: The alarm will ring any minute. I'll be back in a second. Jiffy and flash usually combine with in a; in a jiffy means in a short space of time, while in a flash suggests the almost imperceptible duration of a flash of light: “He was on his stool in a jiffy, driving away with his pen” (Charles Dickens). She finished the job in a flash.See Also Synonyms at importance.
- A brief, unspecified amount of time.
- Wait a moment, while I lock the front door.
- The smallest portion of time; an instant.
- Weight or importance.
- (physics, mechanics) The turning effect of a force applied to a rotational system at a distance from the axis of rotation. Also called moment of force.
- (historical) A definite period of time, specifically one-tenth of a point, or one-fortieth or one-fiftieth of an hour.
- (informal) A petit mal episode; such a spell.
- (colloquial) A fit, a short-duration tantrum, a hissy.