Definition of time constant in English:

time constant

Pronunciation /tīm ˈkänstənt/ /taɪm ˈkɑnstənt/


  • A time that represents the speed with which a particular system can respond to change, typically equal to the time taken for a specified parameter to vary by a factor of 11/e (approximately 0.6321).

    ‘The hyperinflation may be explained completely by the time constant of the respiratory system exceeding the time available for tidal exhalation.’
    • ‘One way is to vary the time constant of the slow negative-feedback variable.’
    • ‘The time constant of the signal-recovery process yields information on potential heart damage.’
    • ‘This time constant, like that for the half-life of a radionuclide, doesn't tell you an age necessarily - assumptions must be applied first.’
    • ‘This time constant reflects, rather, the lifetime of the first excited singlet state of the complex, which decays rapidly owing to intersystem crossing.’