Definition of moratorium in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌmôrəˈtôrēəm/

noun (plural moratoriums or moratoria /-ˈtôrēə/)

1A temporary prohibition of an activity: an indefinite moratorium on the use of drift nets
More example sentences
  • It was simply due to the fact that the British, American and Soviet governments agreed a temporary moratorium on all nuclear testing in October 1958.
  • In 2003 the US government put a temporary moratorium on the development of specialist hospitals that are partly owned by the doctors using them.
  • A temporary moratorium on new computers has been imposed by the service.
embargo, ban, prohibition, suspension, postponement, stay, stoppage, halt, freeze, standstill, respite
1.1 Law A legal authorization to debtors to postpone payment.
Example sentences
  • For Germany, the economic and financial crisis led US President Hoover to announce on 21 June 1931 a one-year moratorium for reparation payments.
  • There's nothing inconsistent with the Government now saying there should be a moratorium and a payment of the lower amount.
  • The downside of a moratorium is that when it is lifted, payments are bunched up and the cost of borrowing could rise, meaning countries will find it even harder reduce their debt.


Late 19th century: modern Latin, neuter (used as a noun) of late Latin moratorius 'delaying', from Latin morat- 'delayed', from the verb morari, from mora 'delay'.

  • This is a use in English of a modern Latin word meaning ‘a delaying’.

Words that rhyme with moratorium

auditorium, ciborium, conservatorium, crematorium, emporium, sanatorium, scriptorium, sudatorium, vomitorium

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: mor·a·to·ri·um

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