Definition of moratorium in US English:


nounPlural moratoriums, Plural moratoria

  • 1A temporary prohibition of an activity.

    ‘an indefinite moratorium on the use of drift nets’
    • ‘For the last two years there has been a moratorium on new developments across the health boards, because of freezes in funding.’
    • ‘The document declared that the 1986 moratorium on commercial whaling had been intended as a temporary measure and is no longer necessary.’
    • ‘The moratorium on public housing, the dismantling of rent control, and the privatization of utilities have caused the cost of living in Toronto to skyrocket over the last decade.’
    • ‘To the delight of abolitionist groups, Robertson went even further this past April when he voiced his support for a general moratorium on the death penalty.’
    • ‘They have lifted a long-standing moratorium on offshore oil and gas exploration as part of their commitment to doubling petroleum production.’
    • ‘A moratorium on cod fishing off the Irish coast could soon be in place unless drastic action is taken to protect cod numbers.’
    • ‘The government must adopt a precautionary approach and finally listen to calls for a moratorium on the expansion of salmon farming.’
    • ‘It is calling for planning laws to promote opportunities for locally-owned stores and also wants a moratorium on existing food stores being taken over by larger supermarket chains.’
    • ‘There's a federal moratorium on human cloning, and there is a discussion, a national discussion and international discussion that's ongoing.’
    • ‘A temporary moratorium on new computers has been imposed by the service.’
    • ‘Building homes on the Vale of York flood plain had contributed to the devastation caused by the floods, she said, and she called for a moratorium on construction until the possible consequences were known.’
    • ‘You see, the House has quietly imposed a moratorium on taking new ethics cases and suspended any work on existing cases.’
    • ‘It called on all nations, particularly the United States, to introduce and support regulations that would create a worldwide moratorium on human reproductive cloning.’
    • ‘That is, there should be a moratorium on the billions of dollars spent on servicing the national debt and this money should immediately be diverted back to social programs such as health care and education.’
    • ‘‘Seven out of nine of those communities have categorically rejected the lifting of the moratorium on oil and gas drilling,’ Cadman said.’
    • ‘In 2004, the city placed a two-year moratorium on new permits, meaning no opportunities exist for new publications to be distributed on city sidewalks.’
    • ‘Politicians called for a global moratorium on human cloning until the consequences of such procedures are better understood.’
    • ‘The plan also calls for a temporary moratorium on moose hunting in the McGrath area.’
    • ‘In 2003 the US government put a temporary moratorium on the development of specialist hospitals that are partly owned by the doctors using them.’
    • ‘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.’
    embargo, ban, prohibition, suspension, postponement, stay, stoppage, halt, freeze, standstill, respite, hiatus, delay, deferment, deferral, adjournment
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    1. 1.1Law A legal authorization to debtors to postpone payment.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘One source of revenue is the unilateral debt moratorium that began in December 2001.’
      • ‘There's nothing inconsistent with the Government now saying there should be a moratorium and a payment of the lower amount.’
      • ‘The moratorium offer includes the suspension of payments of debt principal and interest for a certain period of time.’
      • ‘For Germany, the economic and financial crisis led US President Hoover to announce on 21 June 1931 a one-year moratorium for reparation payments.’
      postponement, deferral, suspension, putting back, putting off, adjournment, delay, shelving, rescheduling, interruption, arrest, pause
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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’.