Definition of momentum in English:


Line breaks: mo|men¦tum
Pronunciation: /məˈmɛntəm

noun (plural momenta /-tə/)

[mass noun]
  • 1 Physics The quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity.
    More 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, drive, thrust, push, driving power, steam, impulse, speed, velocity


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

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