Definition of split second in English:

split second


  • A very brief moment of time.

    ‘for a split second, I hesitated’
    • ‘Hewitt's gentle nature was then revealed in the split second afterwards.’
    • ‘Harmless spirits will also occasionally pop up for split seconds, and snapping images of those also add to your score.’
    • ‘He's just a split second away, and once that has happened he will score a lot.’
    • ‘Then there is one of those split seconds during which three things happen.’
    • ‘And there are Pumpkins' shadows that obscure moments of this record and split seconds when you forget this isn't the newie from Sparklehorse.’
    • ‘‘With children, in a few split seconds, anything can happen,’ he told members.’
    • ‘Finn watched her for a moment, their eyes together for a split second before he shifted his gaze to some other place.’
    • ‘They hadn't proven the case of intentional murder, but rather a case of a horrible accident, a horrible mistake that happened in seven split seconds that none of us would ever want to live through either way.’
    • ‘Anastasius' eyes flashed for a split second and one dark eyebrow rose slightly.’
    • ‘In a split second, Ricardo has a hairy moment, and Karagounis gets a yellow card.’
    • ‘Then, in the split second following the blast, she thought the fishing boat's diesel engine had blown up.’
    • ‘With only split seconds to spare, you can make a single move.’
    • ‘Kassa kicked him in the shins and for a split second anger flashed through his eyes violently.’
    • ‘For those split seconds it felt like someone else was controlling me.’
    • ‘Chan could make the coins on a Vegas table disappear in a split second or change the time on a watch with only a quick touch.’
    • ‘After running faster that I ever had to in my life, I made it mere split seconds before the exam was due to start.’
    • ‘Chambers, 24, was grabbing for his left leg within split seconds of Lewis-Francis.’
    • ‘You might even have heart palpitations in those few split seconds, because this was the last thing you were expecting to occur straight outside the outpatients section of a hospital's maternity wing.’
    • ‘All this was happening in split seconds, but I realised what he was up to.’
    • ‘I thought all this stuff in my head in a couple of split seconds, finally snapping out of my trance.’
    short time, little while, bit, moment, minute, second, trice, twinkling, twinkling of an eye, flash, no time, less than no time, no time at all
    View synonyms


  • Very rapid or accurate.

    ‘split-second timing is crucial’
    • ‘PC Foster said he believed that Mr Lee's lack of riding experience caused him to make a split-second decision to overtake on a bend.’
    • ‘He was very shocked - not really understanding the split second decisions that got him out of there alive.’
    • ‘What stalled him was a split-second act that was his last.’
    • ‘Even though they're split-second, the trainspotter/ex-DJ in me recognises nearly half of them.’
    • ‘A mother relived a split-second disaster which wiped out her young family three weeks before Christmas.’
    • ‘But it was a split-second shove that was to wreck two young lives and cause unbearable misery for their families and loved ones.’
    • ‘It was a split-second decision to use force, he said.’
    • ‘Sometimes you are going to make an error as you have to make split-second decisions, but people are understanding the right and wrong time to get a play on.’
    • ‘By introducing a half-life to the split-second glance, Matt is opening up an uncanny world of absence as well as a new protocol for presence.’
    • ‘I couldn't say if it was hard or easy; but it certainly was fun, making split-second decisions.’
    • ‘But does any A-list talent actually commit to anything more than a split-second cameo?’
    • ‘His comic timing is polished up to split-second accuracy for the role of Elliot Richards, the hapless computer nerd that nobody wants to hang out with.’
    • ‘It was a Thanksgiving appearance that was a masterpiece of complex planning and split-second timing.’
    • ‘This routine demands perfect choreography and split-second timing, particularly from the getaway driver.’
    • ‘At this speed it would take only an instant, a tiny split-second shift, for things to go badly wrong.’
    • ‘Muse on vital need for split-second timing but also metronomic rhythm when playing farce.’
    • ‘This aims to avoid drivers making split-second decisions while pursuing criminals at up to 70 mph in urban areas.’
    • ‘Another western person can be read instantly - a split-second check-out.’
    • ‘The legal team is currently based in another building, so cannot make a split-second judgment when new footage arrives just before airtime.’
    • ‘During the hectic split-second timing of a campaign, this is a man who took time out to sit beside an old friend who was dying of cancer.’


split second