Definition of nanosecond
1 : one billionth of a second
2 : a very brief moment
Examples of nanosecond in a sentence
It happens in less than a nanosecond.
<a nanosecond was about all that it took her to accept his marriage proposal>
Did You Know?
The nonserious use of nanosecond is probably much more common than the proper technical use. In measurement terms such as nanosecond, nanogram, and nanometer, nano- means "billionth;" in other kinds of words, its meaning isn't quite so precise. In computers, the speed of reading and writing to random access memory (RAM) is measured in nanoseconds. By comparison, the speed of reading or writing to a hard drive or a CD-ROM player, or for information to travel over the Internet, is measured in milliseconds (thousandths of a second), which are a million times longer than nanoseconds.
Origin and Etymology of nanosecond
International Scientific Vocabulary
First Known Use: 1958
NANOSECOND Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of nanosecond for English Language Learners
: one billionth of a second
: a very short time
Medical Definition of nanosecond
: one billionth of a second—abbreviation ns, nsec
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up nanosecond? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).