Is there a single word which can replace the phrase "Estimated time of Completion"? Obviously, there is ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) but it doesn't fit my context as is explained below.

I have considered ETC but wasn't sure if it is widely used.

The Context

Let's say it is for a job that needs to be completed, I'd rather not put ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) as it is not necessarily arriving.

If there isn't a single word, is there a widely used acronym for this context?

  • 2
    I use ETA (estimated time of arrival) for all "estimated times", whether they're arrivals, completions, pizzas, etc. My guess is the existence of that word is strong evidence that no single-word replacement exists that most people would recognize.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 5, 2017 at 16:14
  • @DanBron I've considered ETA but it just doesn't seem to fit, if forced to I'll end up using it.
    – Script47
    Jun 5, 2017 at 16:17
  • 1
    ETC is used in my line of work.
    – Jim
    Jun 5, 2017 at 16:20
  • 1
    – Jim
    Jun 5, 2017 at 16:23
  • 1
    Your use of the phrase “needs to be completed” confuses this question. The estimated / expected time of completion can easily be either before or after the time it needs to be completed. The fact that you accepted “duration” as the answer suggests that you have worded the question badly. For example, 8:40 is a time. It is seven hours from now; seven hour is a duration. While these concepts are closely linked, they are not interchangeable. Jun 6, 2017 at 1:43

5 Answers 5


You might consider the word duration.

As Dan mentioned in comments though, it's quite acceptable to use ETA for just about any "estimated times".

  • 1
    'Time' is specified as clock time rather than length of time taken by the mention of ETA. Jun 5, 2017 at 19:41

Completion Date (/time)

Often, in projects ‘completion date’ is used to denote the estimated (or actual, once complete) moment for the completion of a task.

Example: When is the completion date for room 3 curtains and trimmings? - Next Wednesday around 4pm.

You can abbreviate it to ‘complete date’ if you like.

Other words:

Start date, end date. Start time, end time. Target date, actual complete date, etc. Usually what each of these specifically mean is defined at the start of a project, so that everyone uses consistent language, to avoid confusion.

Note: quite a few project websites use ‘finish date’. I much prefer ‘complete date’. Because then you avoid discussions about ‘well, how finished is ‘finished’? Whereas complete alludes to the goal ‘the item is complete’ rather than the process ‘we need to finish it!’ And in order to succeed, one should be aiming for ‘completed goal’ not ‘a story about the process’.


  • Along these lines: "Complet(ing) On", "Finish(ed) By", "Complete(d) By". Sep 21, 2021 at 0:18
  • ECD=estimated completion date
    – Lambie
    Feb 27 at 16:52

How about time frame?


time frame: A specified period of time in which something occurs or is planned to take place.


In military terms, ETC means estimated time of completion. Don't use ETA if you are already there.


"Drop" is used in some industries to denote when something is complete, such as in software development. You can say of a software project that "the next version drops in two weeks" to mean that it is expected to be released and therefore "complete" (at least to some definition of "complete" for that version) in that duration. People sometimes ask "how long until version X drops?" with similar meaning. From that you could use "drop date" perhaps to refer to a specific completion date, if two words are acceptable.

  • Just to nitpick but the date of the drop could be different than the date of completion.
    – Jim
    Jun 6, 2017 at 1:21
  • @Jim yes, good point - it does tend to relate to "delivery" rather than "completion". However the two could be the same depending on the expectations of the recipient.
    – davidA
    Jun 6, 2017 at 5:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.