Definition of momentum in English:

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Pronunciation: /mōˈmen(t)əm/
Pronunciation: /məˈmen(t)əm/

noun (plural momenta /-tə/ or momentums)

1 Physics The quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity.
Example sentences
  • In contrast, the active medium in the mechanical laser is the intrinsic angular momenta of electrons and nuclei.
  • At any time, since the momenta of the two masses are opposite and equal in magnitude, the total momentum of the ‘device’ is zero.
  • As nuclei spin, the balance of factors is perturbed, and at very high angular momenta nuclei may adopt odd shapes resembling peanuts, bananas, jumping jacks, or sea urchins, among others.
2The impetus gained by a moving object: the vehicle gained momentum as the road dipped
More example sentences
  • As the herd gained momentum the bells on the lead cows rang out louder and the erratic clanging became a regular tolling.
  • The forest of streamers from the wharf to the ship's rail slowly broke as the vessel gained momentum.
  • Its large pointed ears were laid back flat against its head as it gained momentum.
2.1The impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events: the investigation gathered momentum in the spring
More example sentences
  • However, the focus will be on how the company intends to contain costs and yet maintain momentum in development and research.
  • He added that crime trends often gathered momentum as word spreads about the profits.
  • The campaign to rehabilitate Nietzsche in France swiftly gathered momentum.
impetus, energy, force, power, strength, thrust, speed, velocity


Late 17th century: from Latin, from movimentum, from movere 'to move'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mo·men·tum

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