mil·​li·​sec·​ond | \ ˈmi-lə-ˌse-kənd How to pronounce millisecond (audio) , -kənt \

Definition of millisecond

: one thousandth of a second

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A millisecond isn't long enough for the blink of an eye, but a few milliseconds may determine the winner of a swim race or a hundred-yard dash. With the ever-increasing speed of modern technology, even a millisecond has started to seem a little sluggish; computer operations are now measured in nanoseconds—that is, billionths of a second.

Examples of millisecond in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The device, called gammaCore, sends a series of vibrating bursts of low-voltage electricity, each lasting a millisecond, to the side of the neck. Maddie Bender, Scientific American, 10 June 2021 The team hopes to stretch the front of the boom wave from a single millisecond out to twenty or thirty. Matthew Hutson, The New Yorker, 25 June 2021 Your best chance of getting one at a sane price is by beating scalper bots (and hordes of other desperate gamers) to the checkout page the millisecond these GPUs drop. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, 1 June 2021 Why would a position held for a millisecond during a sprint of a dance matter? New York Times, 11 May 2021 Cell towers emit them about every millisecond to help cellphones detect how strong or weak their connections are. Marco Quiroz-gutierrez, WSJ, 25 May 2021 Today information floods over us, and a millisecond later in comes another flood of data and information, and then another and another., 19 Mar. 2010 That eddy of stone could be the flash-frozen millisecond of an explosion or the swirl of ancient galactic rubble adrift across ages., 15 Apr. 2021 Satellite networks could represent the next technological leap forward for a business where every millisecond counts. WSJ, 8 Apr. 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'millisecond.' 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 millisecond

1909, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for millisecond

International Scientific Vocabulary

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Time Traveler for millisecond

Time Traveler

The first known use of millisecond was in 1909

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Last Updated

18 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Millisecond.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for millisecond



English Language Learners Definition of millisecond

: one thousandth of a second


mil·​li·​sec·​ond | \ ˈmil-ə-ˌsek-ənd, -ənt How to pronounce millisecond (audio) \

Medical Definition of millisecond

: one thousandth of a second abbreviation ms, msec


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