views updated Jun 11 2018

mo·ment / ˈmōmənt/ • n. 1. a very brief period of time: she was silent for a moment before replying a few moments later he returned to the office. ∎  an exact point in time: she would always remember the moment they met. ∎  an appropriate time for doing something; an opportunity: I was waiting for the right moment. ∎  a particular stage in something's development or in a course of events: one of the great moments in aviation history.2. formal importance: the issues were of little moment to the electorate.3. Physics a turning effect produced by a force acting at a distance on an object. ∎  the magnitude of such an effect, expressed as the product of the force and the distance from its line of action to a given point.4. Statistics a quantity that expresses the average or expected value of the first, second, third, or fourth power of the deviation of each component of a frequency distribution from some given value, typically mean or zero. Thefirst moment is the mean, thesecond moment the variance, thethird moment the skew, and thefourth moment the kurtosis.PHRASES: any moment (or at any moment) very the (or this) moment at the present time; now.for the moment for now.have one's (or its) moments have short periods that are better or more impressive than others: thanks to his gently comic performance, the film has its a moment1. very soon: I'll be back in a moment.2. instantly: the fugitive was captured in a for the moment live or act without worrying about the future.the moment —— as soon as ——: the heavens opened the moment we left the house.moment of truth a time when a person or thing is tested, a decision has to be made, or a crisis has to be faced.not a moment too soon almost too late.not for a (or one) moment not at all; never.of the moment currently popular, famous, or important: the buzzword of the moment (or just a moment) a request for someone to wait for a short period of time, esp. to allow the speaker to do or say something.


views updated May 23 2018

moment very brief portion of time XIV; † small particle XIV; importance, weight XVI; † motive of action XVII. — (O)F. — L. mōmentum (i) movement, moving power, (ii) importance, consequence, (iii) moment of time, particle:- *movimentum. f. movēre MOVE; see -MENT.
So momentary XVI, momentum XVII. — L. Hence momentous of moment XVII.


views updated May 29 2018

moment the moment of truth a crisis, a turning-point; a testing situation; from Spanish el momento de la verdad the time of the final sword-thrust in a bullfight.

See also in the heat of the moment.