Definition of leap second in US English:

leap second


  • A second that is occasionally inserted into the atomic scale of reckoning time in order to bring it into line with solar time. It is indicated by an additional beep in the time signal at the end of some years.

    • ‘This is the first time a leap second has been needed in seven years.’
    • ‘For one, the leap second occurs in the middle of the day in Asia and Australia, causing a time hiccup during stock trading.’
    • ‘It's the unpredictability of leap seconds that creates the potential for problems, says McCarthy.’
    • ‘The leap second insertion increases the length of the last minute of the UTC day to 61 seconds.’
    • ‘Since we haven't had a leap second for seven years, we're all excited about the next one, 31 December 2005.’
    • ‘This would effectively eliminate the leap second that presently is put into effect every year or two.’
    • ‘Without the braking effect of leap seconds, our clocks would steadily run faster and faster than the Earth's rotation, with the effect that the sun would rise later and later in the morning.’
    • ‘The main point I wanted to bring out, though, is that time adjustments against the 86400 second day will be needed in the future, even if there are no leap seconds right now.’
    • ‘Usually, leap seconds are inserted at the end or in the middle of a year.’
    • ‘There doesn't seem to be a leap second inserted by the clock.’
    • ‘Linux kernels and most other Unix-like systems care about the leap seconds and handle them correctly.’
    • ‘Abandoning leap seconds would force the issue and make the world slowly drift away from Greenwich time.’
    • ‘Doug manually aborted the program at that point - if left running it would have presumably detected the leap second about 1.4 hours later.’
    • ‘Personally, I would be sorry to see leap seconds go because that would cost me the pleasure of mulling over the best way to spend my next one.’
    • ‘Instead of allowing this to happen, a leap second is inserted to bring the two times closer together.’
    • ‘The confusion arises because some mistake leap seconds as a measure of the rate at which the Earth is slowing.’
    • ‘According to the definition of leap seconds it is possible for two leap seconds to be applied at once.’
    • ‘We cannot guarantee that all the base stations will properly transmit the leap second information.’
    • ‘Nature reports that a leap second is being added to account for changes in the earth's rotation.’
    • ‘The last leap second was on December 31, 1995, and the last summertime leap second was on June 30, 1994.’


leap second

/ˈlēp ˌsekənd/