Hypertext Webster Gateway: "moment"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Moment \Mo"ment\, n. [F. moment, L. momentum, for movimentum
movement, motion, moment, fr. movere to move. See {Move}, and
cf. {Momentum}, {Movement}.]
1. A minute portion of time; a point of time; an instant; as,
at thet very moment.

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye. --1 Cor.
xv. 52.

2. Impulsive power; force; momentum.

The moments or quantities of motion in bodies.

Touch, with lightest moment of impulse, His free
will. --Milton.

3. Importance, as in influence or effect; consequence; weight
or value; consideration.

Matters of great moment. --Shak.

It is an abstruse speculation, but also of far less
moment and consequence of us than the others.

4. An essential element; a deciding point, fact, or
consideration; an essential or influential circumstance.

5. (Math.) An infinitesimal change in a varying quantity; an
increment or decrement. [Obs.]

6. (Mech.) Tendency, or measure of tendency, to produce
motion, esp. motion about a fixed point or axis.

{Moment of a couple} (Mech.), the product of either of its
forces into the perpendicular distance between them.

{Moment of a force}. (Mech.)
(a) With respect to a point, the product of the intensity
of the force into the perpendicular distance from the
point to the line of direction of the force.
(b) With respect to a line, the product of that component
of the force which is perpendicular to the plane
passing through the line and the point of application
of the force, into the shortest distance between the
line and this point.
(c) With respect to a plane that is parallel to the force,
the product of the force into the perpendicular
distance of its point of application from the plane.

{Moment of inertia}, of a rotating body, the sum of the mass
of each particle of matter of the body into the square of
its distance from the axis of rotation; -- called also
{moment of rotation} and {moment of the mass}.

{Statical moment}, the product of a force into its leverage;
the same as {moment of a force} with respect to a point,
line, etc.

{Virtual moment}. See under {Virtual}.

Syn: Instant; twinkling; consequence; weight; force; value;
consideration; signification; avail.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: a particular point in time; "the moment he arrived the party
began" [syn: {minute}, {second}, {instant}]
2: an indefinitely short time; "wait just a moment"; "it only
takes a minute"; "in just a bit" [syn: {minute}, {second},
3: at this time; "the disappointments of the here and now";
"she is studying at the moment" [syn: {here and now}, {present
4: having important effects or influence; "decisions of great
consequence are made by the president himself"; "virtue is
of more moment that security" [syn: {consequence}, {import}]
[ant: {inconsequence}]
5: the moment of a couple is the product of its force and the
distance between its opposing forces
6: the n-th moment of a distribution is the expected value of
the n-th power of the deviations from a fixed value

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