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 Superconducting circuits, on the other hand, tend to stay in a quantum state for a millisecond or less. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 5 Aug. 2022 Researchers had previously detected an FRB source that followed a discernible pattern, producing millisecond-long flickers for several days before quieting down and then starting back up again. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 15 July 2022 Enter Splunk, which delivered performance analytics and insights on overall system health to the millisecond. Forbes, 1 July 2022 This is especially interesting to competitive gamers for whom every millisecond is critical. Scharon Harding, Ars Technica, 12 July 2022 Hodge explains that Formula 1 has always been about maximizing every millisecond, and now quick analysis of data is making that even more of a reality for the sport. Stephanie Cain, Fortune, 29 June 2022 The leafy bough was followed a millisecond later by a squirrel. John Kelly, Washington Post, 30 May 2022 These are trickle-charged by the vehicle and then used to give the system a quick jolt of electricity when extra power is needed—such as when reaching that headline 2,200-watt for a millisecond. Alistair Charlton, Wired, 24 Feb. 2022 By tracking every millisecond of every lift performed by every one of its users everywhere, Tonal is collecting an astoundingly unprecedented amount of data on weight lifting. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 12 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of millisecond

1909, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for millisecond

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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

4 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Millisecond.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for millisecond


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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