Definition of split second in English:

split second


  • A very brief moment of time.

    ‘for a split second, I hesitated’
    • ‘Anastasius' eyes flashed for a split second and one dark eyebrow rose slightly.’
    • ‘‘With children, in a few split seconds, anything can happen,’ he told members.’
    • ‘Kassa kicked him in the shins and for a split second anger flashed through his eyes violently.’
    • ‘I thought all this stuff in my head in a couple of split seconds, finally snapping out of my trance.’
    • ‘Then there is one of those split seconds during which three things happen.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Then, in the split second following the blast, she thought the fishing boat's diesel engine had blown up.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With only split seconds to spare, you can make a single move.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Finn watched her for a moment, their eyes together for a split second before he shifted his gaze to some other place.’
    • ‘For those split seconds it felt like someone else was controlling me.’
    • ‘After running faster that I ever had to in my life, I made it mere split seconds before the exam was due to start.’
    • ‘And there are Pumpkins' shadows that obscure moments of this record and split seconds when you forget this isn't the newie from Sparklehorse.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In a split second, Ricardo has a hairy moment, and Karagounis gets a yellow card.’
    • ‘Chambers, 24, was grabbing for his left leg within split seconds of Lewis-Francis.’
    • ‘All this was happening in split seconds, but I realised what he was up to.’
    • ‘He's just a split second away, and once that has happened he will score a lot.’
    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’
    • ‘This aims to avoid drivers making split-second decisions while pursuing criminals at up to 70 mph in urban areas.’
    • ‘At this speed it would take only an instant, a tiny split-second shift, for things to go badly wrong.’
    • ‘A mother relived a split-second disaster which wiped out her young family three weeks before Christmas.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But does any A-list talent actually commit to anything more than a split-second cameo?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Another western person can be read instantly - a split-second check-out.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This routine demands perfect choreography and split-second timing, particularly from the getaway driver.’
    • ‘The legal team is currently based in another building, so cannot make a split-second judgment when new footage arrives just before airtime.’
    • ‘I couldn't say if it was hard or easy; but it certainly was fun, making split-second decisions.’
    • ‘It was a Thanksgiving appearance that was a masterpiece of complex planning and split-second timing.’
    • ‘It was a split-second decision to use force, he said.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He was very shocked - not really understanding the split second decisions that got him out of there alive.’
    • ‘Muse on vital need for split-second timing but also metronomic rhythm when playing farce.’
    • ‘But it was a split-second shove that was to wreck two young lives and cause unbearable misery for their families and loved ones.’


split second