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latency la·ten·cy (lāt'n-sē)
The state of being latent.
In conditioning, the period of apparent inactivity between the time the stimulus is presented and the moment a response occurs.
See latency phase.
1. The time it takes for a packet to cross a network connection, from sender to receiver.
2. The period of time that a frame is held by a network device before it is forwarded.
Two of the most important parameters of a communications channel are its latency, which should be low, and its bandwidth, which should be high. Latency is particularly important for a synchronous protocol where each packet must be acknowledged before the next can be transmitted.