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From Latin mōmentum. Doublet of moment and movement.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌmə(ʊ)ˈmɛntəm/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌmoʊˈmɛntəm/
  • (file)


momentum (countable and uncountable, plural momentums or momenta)

  1. (physics) Of a body in motion: the tendency of a body to maintain its inertial motion; the product of its mass and velocity, or the vector sum of the products of its masses and velocities.
  2. The impetus, either of a body in motion, or of an idea or course of events; a moment.
    • 1843, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old Manse, The Old Apple Dealer:
      The travellers swarm forth from the cars. All are full of the momentum which they have caught from their mode of conveyance.
    • 1882, Thomas Hardy, chapter II, in Two on a Tower. A Romance. [...] In Three Volumes, volume II, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, & Rivington, [], →OCLC, page 31:
      Their intention to become husband and wife, at first halting and timorous, had accumulated momentum with the lapse of hours, till it now bore down every obstacle in its course.
    • 2013 September 14, Jane Shilling, “The Golden Thread: the Story of Writing, by Ewan Clayton, review [print edition: Illuminating language]”, in The Daily Telegraph (Review)[1], page R29:
      Though his account of written communication over the past 5,000 years necessarily has a powerful forward momentum, his diversions down the fascinating byways of the subject are irresistible ...

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Indonesian Wikipedia has an article on:
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Internationalism, learned borrowing from Latin mōmentum.



momentum (plural momentum-momentum, first-person possessive momentumku, second-person possessive momentummu, third-person possessive momentumnya)

  1. momentum:
    1. (mechanics) of a body in motion: the tendency of a body to maintain its inertial motion; the product of its mass and velocity, or the vector sum of the products of its masses and velocities.
      Synonyms: impuls, pusa
    2. moment
    3. chance
      Synonyms: kans, kesempatan

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From *movimentum (compare later Medieval Latin movimentum), from Proto-Italic *mowementom. Equivalent to moveō (move, set in motion; excite) + -mentum (suffix used to forming nouns from verbs).



mōmentum n (genitive mōmentī); second declension

  1. movement, motion, impulse; course
  2. change, revolution, movement, disturbance
  3. particle, part, point
  4. (of time) brief space, moment (in time), short time
    Synonym: vestīgium
  5. cause, circumstance
  6. weight, influence, importance
    Synonyms: importantia, gravitās, pondus, opportūnitās
    mōmentum facere/habereto have importance, to exercise influence
    maximē mōmentīmost important
  7. (New Latin, physics) momentum, quantity of motion [from 18th c.]
  8. (New Latin, physics, mechanics) moment (product of a distance and physical quantity) [from 15th c.]


Second-declension noun (neuter).

Case Singular Plural
Nominative mōmentum mōmenta
Genitive mōmentī mōmentōrum
Dative mōmentō mōmentīs
Accusative mōmentum mōmenta
Ablative mōmentō mōmentīs
Vocative mōmentum mōmenta

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  • momentum”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • momentum”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • momentum in Enrico Olivetti, editor (2003-2023) Dizionario Latino, Olivetti Media Communication
  • momentum in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • momentum in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • Carl Meißner; Henry William Auden (1894) Latin Phrase-Book[2], London: Macmillan and Co.
    • at the important moment: momento temporis
    • important results are often produced by trivial causes: ex parvis saepe magnarum rerum momenta pendent
    • to be of great (no) importance: magni (nullius) momenti esse
    • to determine the issue of; to turn the scale: momentum afferre ad aliquid