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From Middle English momentare, from Late Latin mōmentārius (“of brief duration”), from mōmentum (“a short time, an instant”). Synchronically analyzable as moment + -ary.
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈmoʊmənˌtɛɹi/
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈməʊmənt(ə)ɹi/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- Hyphenation: mo‧men‧ta‧ry
momentary (comparative more momentary, superlative most momentary)
- Lasting for only a moment.
- Happening at every moment; perpetual.
- Ephemeral or relatively short-lived.
- 1749, [John Cleland], “(Please specify the letter or volume)”, in Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure [Fanny Hill], London: […] G. Fenton [i.e., Fenton and Ralph Griffiths] […], →OCLC:
- Yet oh! what an immense difference did I feel between this impression of a pleasure merely animal, and struck out of the collision of the sexes by a passive bodily effect, from that sweet fury, that rage of active delight which crowns the enjoyments of a mutual love-passion, where two hearts, tenderly and truly united, club to exalt the joy, and give it a spirit and soul that bids defiance to that end which mere momentary desires generally terminate in, when they die of a surfeit of satisfaction!
- 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 20, in The Dust of Conflict:
- Tony's face expressed relief, and Nettie sat silent for a moment until the vicar said “It was a generous impulse, but it may have been a momentary one, […] .”
- See also Thesaurus:ephemeral
lasting for only a moment
perpetual — see perpetual
ephemeral or relatively short-lived
- momentary at OneLook Dictionary Search
- English terms inherited from Middle English
- English terms derived from Middle English
- English terms derived from Late Latin
- English terms suffixed with -ary
- English 4-syllable words
- English terms with IPA pronunciation
- English terms with audio links
- English lemmas
- English adjectives
- English terms with quotations