split-sec·​ond | \ ˈsplit-ˈse-kənd How to pronounce split-second (audio) \

Definition of split-second

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : occurring in a split second a split-second decision
2 : extremely precise split-second timing

split second


Definition of split second (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fractional part of a second : flash

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Examples of split-second in a Sentence


In a split second, it was all over. a devastating accident can cause everything in your life to change in a split second

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In a split second, Cyrus appears wearing a bright purple bob with bangs and the sort of geometric bodycon outfit that pop culture tends to associate with hypothetical future societies. Leah Prinzivalli, Allure, "Miley Cyrus Plays a Version of Herself With Purple Hair in the New Black Mirror Trailer," 15 May 2019 In a split second, her faces morphs from confused to horrified to defeated. Glamour, "Real Women Remember the Horror of Finding Out They Were Paid Less Than Men," 2 Apr. 2019 If the outfielder or relay man for the cut-off throw drops his hands, that allows the more-than-split second delay that often ends up in runs scoring or extra bases. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Ron Gardenhire's Kelly Clarkson ringtone is theme for Detroit Tigers season," 22 May 2018 Indeed, the replay showed Marshall lifting his foot off the ground and starting to thrust his leg towards Russell a split second before the ball eventually changes direction after striking the oncoming SKC player. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, "Inside the referees’ locker room: Hearing directly from officiating crew about Saturday’s controversial red card on Sounders defender Chad Marshall," 4 Sep. 2018 Fans learned quickly not to get too attached to characters, because Martin doesn't hesitate to kill off characters who feel like vital protagonists in a split second. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "George R.R. Martin Finally Explained Why He Keeps Killing All Your Favorite 'Game of Thrones' Characters," 12 Aug. 2018 That split second, Ballard said, will create problems in the pros. Stephen Holder, Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Colts' Chris Ballard breaks down film on picks from NFL Draft," 1 May 2018 That split second where the game that looks to be ebbing towards a natural, premeditated end gets flipped on it's head, with the remainder of the match plunged into ambiguity is unprecedented in terms of entertainment. SI.com, "6 Teams That Had Victory Snatched From Them at the Death," 18 June 2018 Two men, apparently civilians, were walking into the area just meters (yards) from the motorcycles at the moment of the explosion, which a split second later was followed by a second possible blast. Washington Post, "Police: Indonesia suicide bombings work of 2 families," 15 May 2018

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


1944, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1912, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for split-second

The first known use of split-second was in 1912

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More Definitions for split-second



English Language Learners Definition of split-second

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: done very quickly
: very accurate or precise

split second


English Language Learners Definition of split second (Entry 2 of 2)

: a very short period of time

More from Merriam-Webster on split-second

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with split-second

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for split-second

Comments on split-second

What made you want to look up split-second? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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