I'm writing a spec about network authorization token mechanism where tokens are like usernames, but valid in some (narrow) time span only. For example, one may issue a token which can be used starting from 2018-04-09T00:00UTC till 2018-04-11T00:00UTC. Which wording suits this situation the best?

  • time-limited authorization token
  • time-restricted authorization token
  • temporary authorization token
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    From an English point of view, all are acceptable. As with all questions specific to a particular domain (Computer Science/Networking in this case), convention is king. So, see what other people do. – Max Williams Apr 9 '18 at 10:50
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    Time-limited. English doesn't distinguish, but domain usage does. Temporary is used for password resets that force a new password. Time-restricted may refer to a time of day, such as "restricted to business hours". "Time-limited" means for a limited time period, such as the two days you indicate. – jimm101 Apr 16 '18 at 11:25
  • Please, firegurafiku, does your programming use a language wholly compliant with English, or not? If it's wholly compliant, could you drop all reference to anything else? If it's not, could you take the Question somewhere geared to that language? – Robbie Goodwin Apr 26 '18 at 22:07
  • @RobbieGoodwin: the question is about writing a technical specification which is not a program, but a text. It's not specific to any programming language. – firegurafiku Apr 12 '19 at 22:37
  • @jimm101: if you find some time to convert your comment into an answer, I would glad to mark it as accepted. – firegurafiku Apr 12 '19 at 22:38

Time-limited, from time limit:

A limit of time within which something must be done.


English doesn't explicitly distinguish between these, but domain usage does. Temporary is commonly used for password resets that force a new password. Time-restricted may refer to a time of day, such as restricted to business hours. The definition of time-limited naturally encompasses the 48 hour period from the example.


Temporal, as in a temporal cache. This word has an existing similar usage in software engineering, so likely to appeal to readers.

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