• synonyms


[doo-rey-shuh n, dyoo-]
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  1. the length of time something continues or exists (often used with the).
  2. continuance in time.
  3. (in the philosophy of Bergson) a temporal continuum, intuitively known, within which the élan vital operates.
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Origin of duration

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin dūrātiōn- (stem of dūrātiō), equivalent to Latin dūrāt(us) (past participle of dūrāre to last; see dure2) + -iōn- -ion
Related formsdu·ra·tion·al, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for duration


  1. the length of time that something lasts or continues
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Derived Formsdurational, adjective

Word Origin

C14: from Medieval Latin dūrātiō, from Latin dūrāre to last
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for duration


late 14c., from Old French duration, from Medieval Latin durationem (nominative duratio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin durare "harden" (see endure). Old legalese phrase for the duration popularized 1916 in reference to British enlistments in World War I.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper