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[leyt-n-see] /ˈleɪt n si/
noun, plural latencies.
the state of being latent.
Computers. the time required to locate the first bit or character in a storage location, expressed as access time minus word time.
Origin of latency
1630-40; lat(ent) + -ency Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for latency
  • It definitely does not establish latency in either the liver or the lungs.
  • For starters, latency depends on bandwidth: for a given bit rate a large file will have higher latency than a smaller file.
  • There was a slight latency problem that caused some of the game controls to hiccup.
  • There is no weary celebration of the demonic here, no facile declaration of evil's universal latency.
  • The latency cannot be less than the distance the electromagnetic signal has to travel divided by the speed of light.
  • The new thermal sensor is digital, which means it has a bit of latency.
  • And then figuring out software compensations for that latency.
  • The aim is to reduce the delay between order and execution, known as latency.
  • The inherent latency in networks imposed by global distances limits us to applications that don't require instantaneous feedback.
  • The use of torture would aid latency while damaging all the others.
Word Origin and History for latency

1630s, "condition of being concealed," from latent + -cy. Meaning "delay between stimulus and response" is from 1882; computer sense (latency time) is from 1954.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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latency in Medicine

latency la·ten·cy (lāt'n-sē)

  1. The state of being latent.

  2. In conditioning, the period of apparent inactivity between the time the stimulus is presented and the moment a response occurs.

  3. See latency phase.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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latency in Technology

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.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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