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n. pl. mor·a·to·ri·ums or mor·a·to·ri·a (-tôr′ē-ə)
a. A lawful suspension of the payment of certain debts during a period of financial or civil distress.
b. The period during which such a suspension occurs.
2. A suspension of an ongoing or planned activity: a moratorium on timber cutting.
[From Late Latin morātōrium, neuter of morātōrius, delaying, from Latin morātus, past participle of morārī, to delay, from mora, delay.]