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

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 Essentially, in a split second, Antetokounmpo had to make a decision about where to jump. New York Times, 15 July 2021 It’s as if, in that split second, some part of us registers that our moment-to-moment subjectivity is about to be converted into a document, our selfhood cleaved in two, by nothing more sinister than a click. Washington Post, 30 June 2021 Lapses in judgement can happen in a split second, and the blowback for the brand and the harm done to the campaign can be enormous. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 17 June 2021 There wasn’t any quit there for even a split second. David Furones, sun-sentinel.com, 21 May 2021 There is a moment, in the first episode, when the artist recedes and the camera blurs—a split second in which a man being burned alive is seen not from the outside but from within the eye of the man himself, his vision singed by heat. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 14 May 2021 Police were responding to those shots when Officer Eric Stillman chased Adam and shot him, a split second after the boy appeared to drop or toss a gun. BostonGlobe.com, 3 May 2021 However, the wing offensive player is open for a split second. Andy Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune, 26 May 2021 But for Sayali Apte, 23 is the age that life changed in a split second. Carrie Kerpen, Forbes, 25 May 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of split-second was in 1912

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Dictionary Entries Near split-second

split screen


split second

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Cite this Entry

“Split-second.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/split-second. Accessed 31 Jul. 2021.

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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


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