• (RP) IPA: /ˈməʊmənt/
  • (America) IPA: /ˈmoʊmənt/


  1. A brief, unspecified amount of time.
    Synonyms: stound, instant, trice
    Wait a moment, while I lock the front door.
  2. The smallest portion of time; an instant.
  3. (figurative) Weight or importance.
    • 1597, William Shakespeare, Richard III (play), 3,7,67:
      In deep designs, in matter of great moment, / No less importing than our general good.
    • 1904, Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of the Second Stain, (Norton 2005, p.1192)
      The document in question is of such immense importance that its publication might very easily – I might almost say probably – lead to European complications of the utmost moment.
  4. (physics, mechanics) The turning effect of a force applied to a rotational system at a distance from the axis of rotation.
    Synonyms: moment of force
  5. (historical, unit) A definite period of time, specifically one-tenth of a point, or one-fortieth or one-fiftieth of an hour.
  6. (neurology, informal) A petit mal episode; such a spell.
  7. (colloquial) A fit; a brief tantrum.
  8. (math) An infinitesimal change in a varying quantity; an increment or decrement.
  9. (math) A quantitative measure of the shape of a set of points.
    If the points represent mass, then the zeroth moment is the total mass, the first moment divided by the total mass is the center of mass, and the second moment is the rotational inertia.
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