follow Dictionary.com

11 Trending Words of 2014

split second

noun
1.
a fraction of a second.
2.
an infinitesimal amount of time; instant; twinkling.
Origin
1880-1885
1880-85
Related forms
split-second, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for split second
  • He can have had only a split second to realise what was about to happen.
  • When the fingers slipped up, they paused a split second longer than usual before typing the next letter.
  • They'll also experience a split second of weightlessness as they nosedive down the mountainous drop.
  • Officiating is a difficult, thankless job in which calls must be made instinctually in a split second.
  • But the theory said nothing about what came before or even during the split second when everything went bang.
  • In that split second, they decided he was dangerous.
  • He dropped the bottle from shoulder height and with the same hand caught it a split second later.
  • He showed up at performances a split second before they began.
  • Nebraskans would, in a split second, take the time to help out a neighbor.
  • The predator's split second of indecision allows the moth to fly away, alighting on another tree and disappearing once again.
British Dictionary definitions for split second

split second

noun
1.
an extremely small period of time; instant
adjective (prenominal)
2.
made or arrived at in an infinitely short time: a split-second decision
3.
depending upon minute precision: split-second timing
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with split second

split second

An instant, a fraction of a second, as in Our best swimmer came in a split second before theirs. This expression alludes to a stop watch that has two second hands, one above the other, for timing more than one athlete or intervals of a race by a single athlete. Each hand can be stopped independently of the other, so a second can be “split” when one second hand stops a fraction of a second after the other. [ c. 1880 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for split second

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for split

7
9
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with split second