Moratorium definition

môrə-tôrē-əm, mŏr-
A legal authorization, usually by a law passed in an emergency, to delay payment of money due, as by a bank or debtor nation.
noun
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Any authorized delay or stopping of some specified activity.
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The effective period of such an authorization.
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A suspension of an ongoing or planned activity.

A moratorium on timber cutting.

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A suspension of an ongoing activity. [from 20th c.]

Canada may put a moratorium on cloning for research.

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A lawful suspension of the payment of certain debts during a period of financial or civil distress.
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The period during which such a suspension occurs.
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The definition of a moratorium is an authorized delay in an activity or obligation.

An example of a moratorium is a deferment on the payback on loans.

noun
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(law) An authorization to a debtor, permitting temporary suspension of payments. [from 19th c.]
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
moratorium
Plural:
moratoria, moratoriums

Origin of moratorium

  • From Late Latin morātōrium neuter of morātōrius delaying from Latin morātus past participle of morārī to delay from mora delay

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • New Latin from Late Latin morātōrium, noun use of the neuter of morātōrius (“moratory, delaying"), from Latin moror (“I delay"), from mora (“delay"), from Proto-Indo-European *mere (“to delay, hinder"). See also moratory.

    From Wiktionary