split-second

1 of 2

adjective

split-sec·​ond ˈsplit-ˈse-kənd How to pronounce split-second (audio)
1
: occurring in a split second
a split-second decision
2
: extremely precise
split-second timing

split second

2 of 2

noun

: 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
Adjective
Upon a challenge by the Twins, however, video review showed that catcher Christian Vázquez executed a perfect tag on Ohtani — who declined through a Dodgers public relations official to talk to reporters postgame — a split-second before his foot touched the plate. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 10 Apr. 2024 There is always a concern each time an officer is faced with the incredibly challenging, split-second decision to defend himself and others against an armed suspect. Deena Zaru, ABC News, 9 Apr. 2024 Compared to the split-second margins of ski-racing, Sinner explained, tennis felt more forgiving. Abby Aguirre, Vogue, 4 Apr. 2024 Arkansas lost a run in the fifth inning when center fielder Paxton Kling threw out Wagner at a third base for the third out a split-second before Ben McLaughlin -- who wasn't running full speed -- crossed home plate standing up after a single by Hudson White. Bob Holt, arkansasonline.com, 29 Mar. 2024 The first stop was the makeshift migrant camp where Border Patrol agents picked up the Mexican couple hours after Nixon had made the risky, split-second decision to transport them to a safe location. Rosa Flores, CNN, 29 Mar. 2024 Dicus defended the deputies’ actions during the news conference, saying they were forced into making a split-second decision and followed their training protocols. Hannah Fry, Los Angeles Times, 22 Mar. 2024 Rapidly evolving, violent encounters are some of the most difficult, requiring split-second decisions. Melissa Noel, Essence, 14 Mar. 2024 As the official timekeeper, Porsche Design's role is critical in capturing the split-second moments that define the outcomes of the races. Bhanu Chopra, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024
Noun
In a split second, whatever self-pity had taken a hold of him following the attack is gone. Manuel Betancourt, Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar. 2024 Across the void inhabited a split second ago by Vera and her chair sits tonight’s third compadre, James, a depressed graduate student of psychoanalysis experiencing relationship troubles. Matt Thompson, SPIN, 8 Nov. 2023 Aiyuk reacted a split second before both defenders, jumped in front of them and hauled in a fingertip catch. Jason Mastrodonato, The Mercury News, 29 Jan. 2024 In a split second, 11-year-old Aderrien Murry, who’d called 911 for help, was shot in the chest by Capers, the video shows. María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post, 12 Jan. 2024 The Big Play can change everything in a split second. Chris Perkins, Sun Sentinel, 10 Jan. 2024 How This Man Plotted with His Cousins to Surprise Future Wife with Romantic Proposal in London (Exclusive) For a split second, viewers were able to get a glimpse of the romantic beach proposal — that is until the baby girl noticed the cell phone sitting in the sand. Angel Saunders, Peoplemag, 10 Jan. 2024 My dream was taken away from me, and in a split second, Simon just gave that dream back to me. Joelle Goldstein, Peoplemag, 9 Jan. 2024 Other times, conveniences are put in place in order to short-circuit your ability to act in your own best interests, even if just for a split second. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 21 Nov. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'split-second.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1944, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1912, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of split-second was in 1912

Dictionary Entries Near split-second

Cite this Entry

“Split-second.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/split-second. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

split second

1 of 2 noun
: a small fraction of a second : flash

split-second

2 of 2 adjective
1
: occurring in a split second
a split-second decision
2
: extremely precise
split-second timing
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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