mi·​cro·​sec·​ond | \ˈmī-krō-ˌse-kənd, -kənt\

Definition of microsecond 

: one millionth of a second

Examples of microsecond in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Once the target is in sight, a microsecond’s worth of silent, invisible microwaves moves at the speed of light, frying the circuits, says Don Sullivan, a director at Raytheon who worked on the HPM. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "Stopping Killer Drone Swarms Before They Kill Us," 5 July 2018 One was a single, sharp peak that lasted only 30 microseconds, which suggests an event that comes from an extremely small area of space (in the neighborhood of 10km, although relativistic effects could change that value). John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Whatever causes fast radio bursts is sitting in an intense magnetic field," 15 Jan. 2018 The charge storage in the capacitor is volatile, though, and will be lost in a matter of microseconds. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Training a neural network in phase-change memory beats GPUs," 7 June 2018 The company made investments that let clients send orders with the least possible delay by moving servers closer to exchanges and using wires that shaved microseconds off the process. Hugh Son, Bloomberg.com, "Wall Street’s Big Banks Are Waging an All-Out Technological Arms Race," 5 Apr. 2018 Blain raced to Schriever in his Ford pickup and found that the constellation’s timing was off by about 13 microseconds. Garrett M. Graff, WIRED, "The New Arms Race Threatening to Explode in Space," 26 June 2018 Do gridiron fans truly love the fact that only a few microseconds of actual action are packed into each hour. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Sorry soccer haters, but this World Cup is absolutely awesome," 25 June 2018 Chow said entangling a chip currently takes a few microseconds, allowing sufficient time to prepare the whole system and perform calculations. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Quantum computing’s future is almost semi-here—are we ready for it?," 16 Mar. 2018 The net difference is a daily gain of 38 microseconds compared with terrestrial clocks, a difference for which the GPS system automatically corrects. Priyamvada Natarajan, WSJ, "‘The Order of Time’ Review: Stop All the Clocks," 1 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'microsecond.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of microsecond

1906, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for microsecond

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Last Updated

23 Oct 2018

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The first known use of microsecond was in 1906

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English Language Learners Definition of microsecond

: one millionth of a second

: a very short period of time


mi·​cro·​sec·​ond | \ˈmī-krō-ˌsek-ənd, -ənt \

Medical Definition of microsecond 

: one millionth of a second

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having a pattern of small flowers

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