Torque is referred to using different vocabulary depending on geographical location and field of study. This article refers to the definition used in US physics in its usage of the word torque. In the UK and in US mechanical engineering, torque is referred to as moment of force, usually shortened to moment. In US physics and UK physics terminology these terms are interchangeable, unlike in US mechanical engineering, where the term torque is used for the closely related "resultant moment of a couple".
Torque is defined mathematically as the rate of change of angular momentum of an object. The definition of torque states that one or both of the angular velocity or the moment of inertia of an object are changing. Moment is the general term used for the tendency of one or more applied forces to rotate an object about an axis, but not necessarily to change the angular momentum of the object (the concept which is called torque in physics). For example, a rotational force applied to a shaft causing acceleration, such as a drill bit accelerating from rest, results in a moment called a torque. By contrast, a lateral force on a beam produces a moment (called a bending moment), but since the angular momentum of the beam is not changing, this bending moment is not called a torque. Similarly with any force couple on an object that has no change to its angular momentum, such moment is also not called a torque.
This article follows the US physics terminology by calling all moments by the term torque, whether or not they cause the angular momentum of an object to change.