Definition of momentum in English:



mass noun
  • 1Physics
    The quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity.

    • ‘At any time, since the momenta of the two masses are opposite and equal in magnitude, the total momentum of the ‘device’ is zero.’
    • ‘Most of the particles begin the procedure with positions and momenta that trap them within a well of potential energy; only a few have enough energy to escape over a barrier.’
    • ‘By observing the particle types, numbers, and momenta in a jet, one can reconstruct the kinematic and quantum properties of the initially scattered parton.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In contrast, the active medium in the mechanical laser is the intrinsic angular momenta of electrons and nuclei.’
  • 2The impetus gained by a moving object.

    ‘the vehicle gained momentum as the road dipped’
    • ‘He jumped off when the disk was close, using his earlier momentum to go speeding towards Valshar's body.’
    • ‘The forest of streamers from the wharf to the ship's rail slowly broke as the vessel gained momentum.’
    • ‘The strip strike set the hook, his speed and momentum carried the fish skywards, head shaking, gills flared.’
    • ‘Why is the law of momentum conservation not violated when a ball rolls down a hill and gains momentum?’
    • ‘Matt's momentum carried him forward, but he used the guys body to spin him in mid air.’
    • ‘Scuba divers can glide peacefully once they build up some momentum with a few kicks.’
    • ‘Its large pointed ears were laid back flat against its head as it gained momentum.’
    • ‘In order to fly, the Manx shearwater must be on a steep incline so as to gain momentum and height in the air.’
    • ‘As the herd gained momentum the bells on the lead cows rang out louder and the erratic clanging became a regular tolling.’
    • ‘Sahn pressed the brakes as hard as he could, but now his own speed and momentum were against him.’
    • ‘That tiny bit of motion gets a little momentum started that eventually builds to the bigger movement you're after.’
    • ‘Racing is all about momentum and carrying speed through corners.’
    speed, pace, rate, tempo, impetus
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    1. 2.1 The impetus and driving force gained by the development of a process or course of events.
      ‘the investigation gathered momentum in the spring’
      • ‘We know that for the peace process to be ultimately successful, that momentum must be maintained.’
      • ‘To be really successful from the beginning, the peace process needed momentum.’
      • ‘They emanate a kind of spirit and momentum that forces the viewer to look at the world through the eyes of the artist.’
      • ‘Such criticisms have gathered momentum following the police mishandling of one particular landmark case.’
      • ‘The sport of competitive gaming has been gaining momentum along with the growth of the industry.’
      • ‘It developed its own intellectual momentum and with it an independence from the day-to-day political process.’
      • ‘Their work created a momentum for development which is still accelerating.’
      • ‘The company has struggled to gain any momentum in revenues and growth since.’
      • ‘This will surely add momentum to a constitutional process already on that track.’
      • ‘Within a week she was in London on a training course, her enthusiasm rapidly gaining momentum.’
      • ‘Started two years back, this concept has now gained momentum and spread throughout the nation.’
      • ‘As soon as we see the first signs of a loss of economic momentum in the U.S., pressure will come off the euro.’
      • ‘Sedbergh pressed hard afterwards to build on their momentum but could not force a winning goal.’
      • ‘That show of strength forced the opposition to try to regain its momentum.’
      • ‘The process of setting up municipal courts also gained momentum in the course of the year.’
      • ‘However, the focus will be on how the company intends to contain costs and yet maintain momentum in development and research.’
      • ‘The campaign to rehabilitate Nietzsche in France swiftly gathered momentum.’
      • ‘Only in this way can we endeavor to maintain and build momentum as we close on the objective.’
      • ‘He added that crime trends often gathered momentum as word spreads about the profits.’
      • ‘Their growth provides the momentum for the whole process of history.’
      impetus, energy, force, power, strength, drive, thrust, push, driving power, steam, impulse, speed, velocity
      View synonyms


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