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

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 In addition to perceiving looming threats rapidly, flies need to be able to fly away in a split second. CNN, 7 Sep. 2022 The mind magically traverses the unspoken stretch between concrete signposts in a split second. Melissa Holbrook Pierson, Washington Post, 18 Aug. 2022 In addition to rapidly perceiving looming threats, flies need to be able to fly away in a split second. Jamie Theobald, The Conversation, 17 Aug. 2022 In a split second, the trolling motor revved and swung the boat around and pointed it straight into the current as the algorithm made constant adjustments to the power and direction. Billy Baker, BostonGlobe.com, 29 July 2022 Even a tiny piece of flying debris can cause serious injury to your eye in a split second, easily resulting in an expensive trip to the ER, or complete loss of your eyesight. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, 27 July 2022 The robber froze for a split second and watched Bartek hit the pavement. Cory Shaffer, cleveland, 26 July 2022 When the man turns for a split second, Gallagher fires two rounds. David Hernandez, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 July 2022 How to play Hawk Eye, from BrainHQ: A target bird appears on screen among distractor birds for a split second. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 10 July 2022 See More

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.

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 27 Sep. 2022.

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