momentarily

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

momentary +‎ -ly.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adverb[edit]

momentarily (not comparable)

  1. In a momentary manner; for a moment or instant.
  2. (US, proscribed) In a moment or very soon; any minute now, any time now.
    • 1880, Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur, a Tale of the Christ, chapter 3.
      He told me, further, that the second coming was at hand--was looked for momentarily in Jerusalem.
    This plane will be landing at Idlewild Airport momentarily.
  3. Progressively; moment by moment.

Usage notes[edit]

Many speakers object to the use of momentarily in the sense of “in a moment” rather than “for a moment”, since this is inconsistent with the meaning of momentary;[1][2] nonetheless, this use is quite common in North America, and is particularly associated with airlines, such as “we will be landing momentarily”.[3][1][2] In place of momentarily, many speakers prefer the terms presently, soon[1][2] or the phrase “in a moment”,[2] for this sense of “in a moment”.

Synonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

References[edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Just a Moment”, by William Safire, New York Times, May 11, 1997
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 I Stand Corrected: More on Language, by William Safire pp. 137–138
  3. ^ On language, by William Safire, 1980, p. 9