Definition of time-lapse in US English:



  • Denoting the photographic technique of taking a sequence of frames at set intervals to record changes that take place slowly over time. When the frames are shown at normal speed, or in quick succession, the action seems much faster.

    • ‘Watching the hyper-rapid progress of digital cameras over the last few years has been like seeing a series of time-lapse photographs of a flower blooming.’
    • ‘To address this, we used a time-lapse imaging technique to directly measure cell cycle parameters in living embryos.’
    • ‘It was like watching time-lapse photography of a cell dividing and growing.’
    • ‘He felt as if in just a few short months he had aged ten years - like time-lapse photography of rotting vegetables.’
    • ‘We see time-lapse photography of plants springing to life and decaying, then images of floods, war and catastrophe.’
    • ‘It can be viewed in far shorter order, of course, since much of it is presented in the 16-minute video as time-lapse photography.’
    • ‘It was like watching something in time-lapse photography.’
    • ‘A time-lapse camera recorded the entire event, compressing it into a 100-minute film that became a work in its own right.’
    • ‘Using time-lapse photography it shows hair shooting from skin and sweat forming on fingertips, while heat-sensitive film shows how the body cools itself.’
    • ‘For all its effort, the film relies too heavily on atmosphere, time-lapse photography and the film-makers' impressions of Beijing's rock scene.’
    • ‘Sadly, not having access to time-lapse photography, he failed to understand how birds actually flew - and, even if they had ever been built, his machines would have been unworkable.’
    • ‘I have always enjoyed time-lapse photography - you know, flowers opening, seeds sprouting, clouds racing across the sky as the sun arcs toward the western horizon.’
    • ‘In the over-heated Westminster hot-house, rumour sprouts rumour in rapid motion, rather like those speeded-up films used in time-lapse photography.’
    • ‘Astronomy, too, benefits from the miracle of time-lapse photography.’
    • ‘The film's stylistic time-lapse photography and multi-layered narrative isn't always successful.’
    • ‘His face flushed from glimmering blue-white to a deathly pale grey, like a dying flower watched in time-lapse photography.’
    • ‘Scientists could take a series of such images to create a ‘movie’ of the changes, analogous to time-lapse photography for slow processes like a flower coming into bloom.’
    • ‘Many children are now receiving their fifth scan, providing a remarkable time-lapse movie as a record of how their brains have developed.’
    • ‘Furthermore, the multiple parallel lines of the streets give the blurry impression of a time-lapse photograph of headlights and tail lights produced by moving traffic.’
    • ‘It is nature which appears to speak to us when she presents time-lapse photography of emerging seedlings, shots of swaying underwater flowers blooming or pinkish shots of the earth taken from space.’



/ˈtaɪm ˌlæps/