Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A lawful suspension of the payment of certain debts during a period of financial or civil distress.
  • noun The period during which such a suspension occurs.
  • noun A suspension of an ongoing or planned activity.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In law, legal title to delay in making a due payment: as a legislative authorization of suspension of payment by a government bank.
  • noun In law, legal title to delay in making a due payment: as a legislative authorization of suspension of payment by a government bank.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Law) A period during which an obligor has a legal right to delay meeting an obligation, esp. such a period granted, as to a bank, by a moratory law.
  • noun a suspension of an activity.
  • noun an officially authorized period of delay or waiting.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a legally authorized postponement before some obligation must be discharged
  • noun suspension of an ongoing activity

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From Late Latin morātōrium, neuter of morātōrius, delaying, from Latin morātus, past participle of morārī, to delay, from mora, delay.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

New Latin from Late Latin morātōrium, noun use of the neuter of morātōrius ("moratory, delaying"), from Latin moror ("I delay"), from mora ("delay"). See also moratory.

Examples

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  • ETC Group, a group based in Canada, called for a global moratorium on synthetic biology

    May 25, 2010