The Meaning of Moratorium: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of moratorium? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word moratorium, including its definition, etymology, usage, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word moratorium mean?

According to Collins English Dictionary, the word moratorium is a noun that refers to an authorized period of delay, such as a postponement of a legal obligation of a payment of money. This stops a particular activity for a curtain period of time and is usually an official agreement. One can add the suffix ums to create the plural moratoriums. The pronunciation of moratorium isˌmɒrəˈtɔːriəm and moratorium is five syllables – mo-ra-to-ri-um.

There are many different languages that also contain words that mean moratorium. You might notice that a lot of these words look and sound similar to one another. This is probably because they share a common language or origin or root. Often, cognates – which are words that look, sound, and mean something similar across languages – are formed when two words share a common ancestor such as Latin or Greek. This list of translations for the word moratorium is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Korean: 지불정지‎, 지불연기‎, 지불유예‎
  •  Arabic: اِسْتِمْهَال‎
  •  Norwegian: moratorium‎ (neut.)
  •  Japanese: モラトリアム‎ (moratoriamu), 停止‎ (ていし, teishi)
  •  German: Moratorium‎ (neut.)
  •  Icelandic: greiðslustöðvun‎ (fem.); frestur‎ (masc.); stöðvun‎ (fem.)
  •  Spanish: moratoria‎ (fem.)
  •  French: moratoire‎ (masc.)
  •  Russian: морато́рий‎ (masc.), отсро́чка по платежа́м и фина́нсовым обяза́тельствам‎ (fem.)
  •  Danish: moratorium‎ (neut.)
  •  Italian: moratoria‎ (fem.)
  •  Mandarin: 暫停‎, 暂停‎ (zàntíng), 中止‎ (zhōngzhǐ), 停止‎ (tíngzhǐ)
  •  Portuguese: moratória‎ (fem.)
  •  Finnish: lyhennysvapaus‎
  •  Swedish: moratorium‎ (neut.)

What is the origin of the word moratorium?

According to Etymonline, the word moratorium has been used since 1875 and comes from the neuter of morātōrius. The Late Latin morātōrium comes from the past participle of morārī, the Latin moror, and Latin morātus, from the New Latin mora delay.

How can the word moratorium be used in a sentence?

The word moratorium can be used in many different sentences in the English language. Below are many examples of moratorium. Using this word in a sentence today. Using words in your everyday life is the best way to remember their definition. 

The financial institution put an emergency moratorium on credit card dues, educational loans, mortgage, short term-loan and other payments due to the earthquake which caused temporary financial hardships from August to October. Now, people would not be affected by related issues or future events like natural disasters.

The bankruptcy law forced the moratorium period on the loan amount so that the borrower would not be in civil distress. It gave the former students at Princeton University time to find a job before having to repay their educational loan amount in a monthly installment. 

After the COVID-19 virus began, the CDC and insurance companies began instituting new policies for moratoriums on medical bill repayments. This temporary suspension of payments along with a waiver for tenants to not pay rent to their landlords or creditor allowed people time to get back on their feet after layoffs due to the coronavirus. The landlords hated the eviction moratorium

There was a five-year moratorium on offshore drilling. This grace period, along with the two-year moratorium on timber cutting, was meant to put a stop to the destruction of the planet and give the government time to formulate a plan.

What are synonyms and antonyms of the word moratorium?

There are numerous different words that someone can use in place of the word moratorium. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying not to repeat yourself, or if you are working on growing your vocabulary. This list of synonyms for the word moratorium is provided by Power Thesaurus

  •  alliance
  •  truce
  •  cooling-off period
  •  adjournment
  •  lag
  •  prorogation
  •  break
  •  demurral
  •  restraint
  •  obstruction
  •  disallowing
  •  hiatus
  •  pause
  •  intermission
  •  appeasement
  •  ending
  •  lull
  •  interdict
  •  interval
  •  holdup
  •  cessation
  •  halt
  •  moratoria
  •  ban
  •  setback
  •  procrastination
  •  de-escalation
  •  cessation of hostilities
  •  banning
  •  holding pattern
  •  detente
  •  respite
  •  wind-down
  •  interruption
  •  concord
  •  agreement
  •  wait
  •  injunction
  •  retardation
  •  armistice
  •  extension
  •  standstill
  •  delay
  •  reconciliation
  •  interdiction
  •  reprieve
  •  deferment
  •  amity
  •  treaty
  •  prohibiting
  •  discontinuing
  •  barring
  •  deferral
  •  suspense
  •  debarment
  •  abeyance
  •  freeze
  •  breather
  •  embargo
  •  bani
  •  disallowance
  •  postponement
  •  discontinuance
  •  proscription
  •  grace period
  •  termination
  •  downtime
  •  end of hostilities
  •  economy
  •  stoppage
  •  latency
  •  ceasefire
  •  block
  •  cunctation
  •  cease-fire
  •  recess
  •  forbidding
  •  detention
  •  vetoing
  •  bans
  •  discontinuation
  •  peace
  •  disapproval
  •  bar
  •  prohibition
  •  accord
  •  stay
  •  veto
  •  remission
  •  constraint
  •  amnesty
  •  temporary peace
  •  denial
  •  outlawing
  •  stop
  •  rest
  •  showstopper
  •  boycott
  •  suspension
  •  bind

There are also many different words that mean the opposite of the word moratorium. These opposite words are called antonyms, and are also useful to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary or knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms for the word moratorium is also provided by  Power Thesaurus

  •  venom
  •  carte blanche
  •  tension
  •  bat and wicket
  •  power
  •  scorn
  •  fortunes of war
  •  storm
  •  animus
  •  appanage
  •  conflict
  •  opposition
  •  aversion
  •  beginning
  •  authorization
  •  board certified
  •  clearance
  •  immunity
  •  war
  •  consent
  •  violence
  •  armed conflict
  •  permission
  •  benefit
  •  prerogative
  •  fighting a battle
  •  battle
  •  permit
  •  scrimmage
  •  antagonism
  •  rancour
  •  fighting out
  •  carry permit
  •  rankling
  •  for authorization
  •  by leave
  •  tragedy
  •  armed confrontation
  •  authorizations
  •  repugnance
  •  for the authorization
  •  spite
  •  agreement
  •  charters
  •  revulsion
  •  faceoff
  •  advantage
  •  animosity
  •  get into fights
  •  bad blood
  •  bloodshed
  •  approval
  •  armed hostilities
  •  call
  •  entitlement
  •  rebellion
  •  battle out
  •  terror
  •  skirmish
  •  antipathy
  •  combat
  •  terrorism
  •  apanage
  •  appeal to the sword
  •  license
  •  liberty
  •  droit de
  •  clash of arms
  •  abomination
  •  strife
  •  authorisation
  •  conflagration
  •  repulsion
  •  continuation
  •  continuance
  •  abhorrence
  •  title
  •  code-word
  •  compassionate leave
  •  armed situation
  •  bilateral conflict
  •  storm of swords
  •  warrant
  •  rivalry
  •  freedom
  •  authority
  •  arguing
  •  anathema
  •  charter
  •  military action
  •  struggle
  •  sanction
  •  warfare
  •  for the authorisation
  •  dispensation
  •  right
  •  armed struggle
  •  birthright
  •  battle of the bulge
  •  privilege

Overall, the word moratorium (ˌmɒrəˈtɔːrɪəm) means a lawful suspension of the payment of certain debts.


  1. Moratorium definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 
  2. Moratorium | Word Sense
  3. moratorium | Origin and meaning of moratorium | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  4. Moratorium synonyms – 369 Words and Phrases for Moratorium | Power Thesaurus 
  5. Moratorium antonyms – 180 Opposites of Moratorium | Power Thesaurus