or time dilation
- Physics. (in relativity) the apparent loss of time of a moving clock as observed by a stationary observer.
Origin of time dilatation
First recorded in 1955–60
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- the principle predicted by relativity that time intervals between events in a system have larger values measured by an observer moving with respect to the system than those measured by an observer at rest with respect to it
- The relativistic effect of the slowing of a clock with respect to an observer. In Special Relativity, a clock moving with respect to an observer appears to run more slowly than to an observer moving with the clock. In General Relativity, time dilation is also caused by gravity; clocks on the earth's surface, for example, run more slowly than clocks at high altitudes, where gravitational forces are weaker.
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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.