noun, plural la·ten·cies.

  1. the state of being latent.
  2. latent period.
  3. Computers. the period of delay when one component of a hardware system is waiting for an action to be executed by another component.
  4. Digital Technology. the time required online or in a network for the one-way or round-trip transfer of data between two nodes.
  5. Digital Technology. (in virtual reality and other types of simulation) the discrepancy between the time delay of stimulus and response in the simulation as compared to the real-world equivalent.

n.1630s, “condition of being concealed,” from latent + -cy. Meaning “delay between stimulus and response” is from 1882; computer sense (latency time) is from 1954. n.

  1. The state of being latent.
  2. In conditioning, the period of apparent inactivity between the time the stimulus is presented and the moment a response occurs.
  3. latency period
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