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moratorium (mor-uh-TOHR-ee-uhm, -TOAR-) noun

1. Law. An authorization to a debtor, such as a bank or nation, permitting temporary suspension of payments. An authorized period of delay in the performance of an obligation.

2. A suspension of an ongoing or planned activity.

[From Late Latin, neuter of moratorius, delaying.]

"To the proper audiences, Dole has promised that, if elected, he will fire Dr. Kessler. He will likely place a moratorium on federal smoking regulations and defund scientists who are studying smoking or the carcinogenic effects of secondhand smoke." Klein, Jeffrey, The tobacco election. (political activities of tobacco industry)(Editorial), Mother Jones, 15 May 1996.

This week's theme: a verbal zoo.


Show me a man with both feet on the ground, and I'll show you a man who can't put his pants on. -Arthur K. Watson

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