You can measure the weight – it is called weighing.

If you measure time, what is that called? Is there a single English word for this?

I'm thinking especially in the context of measuring the performance of something, for example, to measure the time it takes for a computer program to complete a specific task or to measure the time it takes a runner to run 100 meters.

  • 1
    For a program specifically on (any variant of) Unix, the standard command "time" shows "real" (elapsed) and "CPU" time of an execution. (These are actually measured by the operating system for all processes, but normally discarded; "time" preserves and shows them.) Oct 5 '18 at 20:51
  • The term analogous to "weight" would be "duration". The duration of the speech was 37 minutes. As to what the activity is, I would call it "chronologicalizing".
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 5 '18 at 22:05
  • 1
    @HotLicks Not chronometry? Oct 7 '18 at 16:05

If you're measuring the time it takes a runner to run 100 meters, you are timing the runner, or clocking the runner.

From Merriam-Webster dictionary:

Clock: transitive verb 1a: to time with a stopwatch or by an electric timing device

Time: transitive verb 4. to determine or record the time, duration, or rate of

  • +1 When measuring a bullet you might also use the verb form of chronograph.
    – Lumberjack
    Oct 5 '18 at 13:14
  • 4
    This is the right answer. When determining why a program is running more slowly than expected, the program is profiled to identify bottlenecks.
    – jxh
    Oct 5 '18 at 14:46
  • 3
    @jxh Profiling is a good description of what you are doing when you are measuring the time it takes for a program to run, but it is less specific as it may also mean that you are measuring allocated memory. Oct 5 '18 at 15:40
  • 1
    Be aware that to clock someone also means to notice them, or hit them (slang), see StackExchange. Oct 5 '18 at 20:31
  • 1
    I agree with both Peter and Hello. I didn't offer profile as an answer, since it is actually measuring many things about how the program is running, not just how long it takes to perform a specific task. In the specific case of timing a specific task, the profile would reveal how long each of its "subtasks" were taking.
    – jxh
    Oct 5 '18 at 20:58

To time conveys the meaning you want:

If you time an action or activity, you measure how long someone takes to do it or how long it lasts.

  • He timed each performance with a stop-watch.

(Collins Dictionary)


Specifically the English words Chronometry or Horology mean the science or technique of the accurate measurement of time. This is "time keeping". Horology also means the art of making timepieces.

Chronometry TFD link

Horology TFD link

Chronometry Wikipedia link

  • He seems to be looking for a verb, since the analogy he gave was "weighing".
    – Barmar
    Oct 8 '18 at 19:16
  • I know. I wanted to add these anyway.
    – user22542
    Oct 8 '18 at 21:02

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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