If I have been presented with a time-stamp in the 24-hour format: 12:24:33 (hh:mm:ss)

Is there a word to address a component of this? By a component, I mean each value between 2 delimiters (only the minutes or only the hour etc.) With reference to the above example:

12, 24, 33 are all ____ of the time-stamp.

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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it about naming elements in a class used in programming, which is explicitly out of our site scope according to our Help Center.
    – tchrist
    Aug 21, 2018 at 14:56
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    @tchrist while the question did originate from a programming class, I am looking for usages to address this term in spoken English. I have updated the question to a ke it sound less like a Programming related question.
    – Sinstein
    Aug 21, 2018 at 15:06
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    They're units of time, hours, minutes, seconds, the colons separate the different units of time. Edit: if you want a class or members name for your program you can call them time units.
    – Zebrafish
    Aug 21, 2018 at 15:36
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    They are time literals. Literals are constant values of variables. Here, variables are hh, mm, ss.
    – Ubi.B
    Aug 21, 2018 at 15:50
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    "Is there a word to address a component of this?" Well, yes. You only just used it yourself right there.
    – RegDwigнt
    Aug 21, 2018 at 18:01

3 Answers 3


Components of a timestamp:

enter image description here

Zone and offset information are two more useful components of timestamps that many may not know about.

(Sai Peddy, Java 8 DateTime, Medium)

See also:
Db2 TIMESTAMP_FORMAT on IBM Knowledge Center

enter image description here

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    While this mentions what each component is specifically called, I was looking for a word to collectively address all of these components.
    – Sinstein
    Aug 22, 2018 at 8:52
  • It does not "mention what each component is specifically called." The "components" make up the timestamp.
    – Kris
    Aug 22, 2018 at 8:54
  • Please do not conflate using both "each" and "collectively" -- they do not mean the same.
    – Kris
    Aug 22, 2018 at 8:55
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    A timestamp is made up of various "components". Each component has a name which your answer lists. But If I were to address all of these components with one word collectively (like I use the word components in this comment), what would I call them? Please see the incomplete example sentence in my question.
    – Sinstein
    Aug 22, 2018 at 8:58
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    Yeah components seems right if I was only talking in the context of time, but if it were a fully formed DateTime as in your example, I am not sure if components would be understood as each number (Day, Month, Hour etc.) or as each whole unit (Time, Date, Zone etc). But that seems to be the best of the lot at the moment.
    – Sinstein
    Aug 22, 2018 at 9:03

Well! I am bit late to answer this question. Actually, a word to collectively address all of these components is called Time literal wiki

time literals

A date literal is a fixed expression that represents a relative range of time, such as last month, this week, or next year.

In computer science, literals are fix values of a given datatype. Further reading: Time Literals

  • Please see "Literals" (ibid.) before reaching "Time Literals."
    – Kris
    Aug 26, 2018 at 10:48
  • @Kris literal (plural literals)(programming) A value, as opposed to an identifier, written into the source code of a computer program. Synonym: literal constant wiki - en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/literal hope this helps :)
    – Ubi.B
    Aug 26, 2018 at 12:47
  • @Kris I still haven't considered voting on your answer. When I do, I will inform you. Also, OP is not happy with you answer.
    – Ubi.B
    Aug 26, 2018 at 12:51

These can also be called fields.

Oxford has this definition:

2.1 Computing A part of a record, representing an item of data.

As for usage in the field1, Lindsay Holmwood says in Timestamp Limitations When Processing RFC3164 Formatted Logs: (emphasis mine)

According to RFC3164, the TIMESTAMP field in the HEADER section of a syslog packet is in the format of “Mmm dd hh:mm:ss” (e.g. Oct 11 22:14:15). Astute readers will note that there is no year field in the timestamp.

1 a different field ;-)

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