- an indefinitely short period of time; instant: I’ll be with you in a moment.
- the present time or any other particular time (usually preceded by the): He is busy at the moment.
- a definite period or stage, as in a course of events; juncture: at this moment in history.
- importance or consequence: a decision of great moment.
- a particular time or period of success, excellence, fame, etc.: His big moment came in the final game.
- Statistics. the mean or expected value of the product formed by multiplying together a set of one or more variates or variables each to a specified power.
- an aspect of a thing.
- Obsolete.an essential or constituent factor.
- a tendency to produce motion, especially about an axis.
- the product of a physical quantity and its directed distance from an axis: moment of area; moment of mass.
- a short indefinite period of timehe’ll be here in a moment
- a specific instant or point in timeat that moment the doorbell rang
- the moment the present point of timeat the moment it’s fine
- import, significance, or valuea man of moment
- a tendency to produce motion, esp rotation about a point or axis
- the product of a physical quantity, such as force or mass, and its distance from a fixed reference pointSee also moment of inertia
- statistics the mean of a specified power of the deviations of all the values of a variable in its frequency distribution. The power of the deviations indicates the order of the moment and the deviations may be from the origin (giving a moment about the origin) or from the mean (giving a moment about the mean)
n.mid-14c., “very brief portion of time, instant,” in moment of time, from Old French moment (12c.) “moment, minute; importance, weight, value” or directly from Latin momentum “movement, motion; moving power; alteration, change;” also “short time, instant” (also source of Spanish, Italian momento), contraction of *movimentum, from movere “to move” (see move (v.)). Some (but not OED) explain the sense evolution of the Latin word by notion of a particle so small it would just “move” the pointer of a scale, which led to the transferred sense of “minute time division.” Sense of “importance, ‘weight’ ” is attested in English from 1520s. Phrase never a dull moment first recorded 1889 in Jerome K. Jerome’s “Three Men in a Boat.” Phrase moment of truth first recorded 1932 in Hemingway’s “Death in the Afternoon,” from Spanish el momento de la verdad, the final sword-thrust in a bull-fight. In addition to the idiom beginning with moment