Duration is how long something lasts, from beginning to end. A duration might be long, such as the duration of a lecture series, or short, as the duration of a party.

The noun duration has come to mean the length of time one thing takes to be completed. The duration of something might be known or not — in past times, the unknown length of time the current war would last was called "the duration. "Musical notes, such as whole notes, half notes, and quarter notes, have different set durations, or lengths of time for which they are held. These varying durations, when put together, create the rhythm of the music.

Definitions of duration

n the period of time during which something continues

the period from 1811-1820 when the Prince of Wales was regent during George III's periods of insanity
show 12 types...
hide 12 types...
the time taken to traverse a measured course
a period of dullness or boredom (especially in a work of literature or performing art)
residence time
the period of time spent in a particular place
the complete duration of something
stint, stretch
an unbroken period of time during which you do something
time scale
an arrangement of events used as a measure of duration
note value, time value, value
(music) the relative duration of a musical note
the duration of a monarch's or government's power
attention span
the length of time you can concentrate on some idea or activity
extended time scale, slow time scale
(simulation) the time scale used in data processing when the time-scale factor is greater than one
fast time scale
(simulation) the time scale used in data processing when the time-scale factor is less than one
the period of time during which a regent governs
Type of:
period, period of time, time period
an amount of time

n the property of enduring or continuing in time

Type of:
the continuum of experience in which events pass from the future through the present to the past

n continuance in time

“the ceremony was of short duration
show 20 types...
hide 20 types...
duration as an extension
continuation, lengthiness, prolongation, protraction
the consequence of being lengthened in duration
the property of being (or seeming to be) without end
the property of being of short temporal extent
brevity, briefness, transience
the attribute of being brief or fleeting
permanence, permanency
the property of being able to exist for an indefinite duration
impermanence, impermanency
the property of not existing for indefinitely long durations
length of service, longevity
duration of service
(music) a prolongation of unspecified length on a note or chord or rest
ceaselessness, continuousness, incessancy, incessantness
the quality of something that continues without end or interruption
perpetuity, sempiternity
the property of being perpetual (seemingly ceaseless)
durability, enduringness, lastingness, strength
permanence by virtue of the power to resist stress or force
imperishability, imperishableness, imperishingness
the property of being resistant to decay
the property of being extremely durable
the property of lasting only a short time
transience, transiency, transitoriness
an impermanence that suggests the inevitability of ending or dying
the quality or state of being mortal
the quality or state of being immortal
the temporal property of being cut short
the temporal property of being very short
Type of:
temporal property
a property relating to time

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.