time·​scale | \ˈtīm-ˌskāl \

Definition of timescale 

: an arrangement of events used as a measure of the relative or absolute duration or antiquity of a period of history or geologic or cosmic time

Examples of timescale in a Sentence

When considered on the 4.6 billion year timescale of the Earth, our lives can seem insignificant. What is the timescale for completion of the work?

Recent Examples on the Web

The disks bend and warp in a complex way that current modeling can't handle on all timescales. Sarah Lewin, Space.com, "Massive Space Structures Have Surprising Connection to Quantum Mechanics Math," 5 Mar. 2018 Ecological thinking involves being aware that things are happening on all kinds of space and timescales at once. Timothy Morton, The Atlantic, "The Hurricane in My Backyard," 8 July 2018 Natural selection simply does not operate on the same timescale as industrialization, so to keep pace with anthropogenic change, wild animals have resorted to altering their behavior rather than their genes. Katherine J. Wu, Smithsonian, "How Humans Created the Ultimate Superpests," 9 July 2018 This star, dubbed PDS 70, is thought to be just 5.4 million years old — a newborn on the cosmological timescale. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Astronomers snap one of the best baby pics yet of a newborn planet," 2 July 2018 But a report from The Times has now revealed the urgent timescale behind the deals. SI.com, "Man Utd Reportedly Racing to Finalise Expected £100m Double Signing Before the World Cup," 25 May 2018 That timescale would mean Salah could be unavailable up until June 23 if his recovery requires the full four weeks - casting doubt over his availability in his country's group games which span from June 15 to June 25. SI.com, "Conflicting Reports Emerge Over Mohamed Salah's Fitness Ahead of Egypt's World Cup Opener," 30 May 2018 However, there are some phenomena that occur on shorter timescales, taking just a few decades, years or even seconds. Eileen Meyer, Smithsonian, "Big Data is Transforming How Astronomers Make Discoveries," 15 May 2018 This was every human’s world until a few centuries ago, nothing on an evolutionary timescale. Antonio García Martínez, WIRED, "Facebook, Snapchat and the Dawn of the Post-Truth Era," 28 May 2018

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

1890, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

24 Nov 2018

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The first known use of timescale was in 1890

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English Language Learners Definition of timescale

: a period of time whose size can be compared to other periods of time

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Comments on timescale

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having a pattern of small flowers

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