Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An instant; a flash.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)

Etymologies

Short for split second hands, a stopwatch with two second hands, one beneath the other, one of which may be stopped independently of the other.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • All I'd need was a split second to get out of reach (and range) of Joe … and then either try to flee the town or declare myself to some responsible citizen as a government agent … bigod, that would be risky, they'd never befieve me … J.B. broke in on my thoughts.

    Flashman and the angel of the lord

  • But then, before his weapon could descend, in that one split second in which she might have escaped, the Trill rushed forward and took his face in her hands and she kissed him so hard that his bottom lip split and he tasted his own blood as he remembered he had on his wedding night when his bride had—

    MILLENNIUM

  • Breanna suffered a flash of realization that illuminated the cave for half a split second This was Com Passion herself.

    Zombie Lover

  • Jonathan wasn't merely uneasy, Thanet realised, he was very much afraid, and in the split second before the boy spoke again he experienced a tremor of premonition.

    No Laughing Matter

  • The slender, perfectly straight line of light that for a split second had been etched across the sky as well as his retinas emerged from the tip of the tree-shape now located on the underside of the alien craft and terminated on the ground below.

    Running from the Deity

  • Bernier's right arm came up like a railway signal, and before I had even cocked my pistol I was looking into his barrel - a split second and it shot smoke at me and the crack of the charge was followed by something rasping across my cheek and grazing it - it was the wad.

    Flashman

  • For a split second all his chic, retro-punk East Village cynical sensibilities had vanished and he'd thought.

    Mistress of Justice

  • Ida Mottram screamed at the top of her voice, and for half a split second Janice wondered whether the glass door to the garden was locked, because if it was, Mr Everton was going to kill them all.

    The Key

  • But there it was, a heart-choking split second of jealousy.

    Finding Dignity

  • Trae's dark eyes flicked to him, and for a split second he glimpsed the molten anger in their depths.

    Ishmael

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.