split-second

adjective
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

noun

Definition of split second (Entry 2 of 2)

: a fractional part of a second : flash

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of split-second in a Sentence

Noun

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

The forward charged onto the ball, splitting Houston center backs Maynor Figueroa and Aljaz Struna and fired a shot past Joe Willis a split second before the goalkeeper could react. Glynn A. Hill, Houston Chronicle, "Dynamo rally to draw against Rapids," 17 Aug. 2019 The ball caromed off Camden Yards’ brick backstop and right to Severino, who upon first turning back toward the diamond seemed for a split second to be surprised to see Tatis closing in. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Padres rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. runs around expectations, limitations," 29 June 2019 Eternal Inflation As a junior researcher trying to explain the smoothness and flatness of the universe, Guth proposed in 1980 that a split second of exponential growth may have occurred at the start of the Big Bang. Quanta Magazine, "In a Multiverse, What Are the Odds?," 3 Nov. 2014 Some played games, running into view, then stopping for a split second, then running again. Azad Cudi, Harper's magazine, "Long Shot," 10 Jan. 2019 Franken recalls the incident that ended his career as lasting a split second. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "The Case of Al Franken," 22 July 2019 Then, in a split second, the music and their expressions change to quizzical. San Diego Union-Tribune, "UCSD professor Anthony Davis’ opera ‘The Central Park Five’ goes where Netflix doesn’t dare," 17 June 2019 But has all of the fights and all of those years taken away just a split second? Los Angeles Times, "Manny Pacquiao’s fight against Keith Thurman could be the last time we see him in the ring," 19 July 2019 Humans can make a decision in that split second that is reflective of their personal code of ethics. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "Could a Morality Setting Be the Future of Autonomous Vehicles?," 17 July 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of split-second

Adjective

1944, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1912, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about split-second

Statistics for split-second

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for split-second

The first known use of split-second was in 1912

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for split-second

split-second

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of split-second

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: done very quickly
: very accurate or precise

split second

noun

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).

WORD OF THE DAY

one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!