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From micro- (“1 millionth”) + century (“100 years”).
microcentury (plural microcenturies)
- (humorous) A unit of time equal to one millionth of a century or approximately one hour (52 minutes and 35.7 seconds).
- 1997, Gian-Carlo Rota, “Ten Lessons I Wish I Had Been Taught”, in Indiscrete Thoughts, Springer Science & Business Media, published 2008, →ISBN, page 197:
- After fifty minutes (one microcentury as von Neumann used to say) everybody's attention will turn elsewhere even if we are trying to prove the Riemann hypothesis.
- 2014, Christoph Schiller, Motion Mountain, 27.06 edition, volume IV, page 204:
- Translate: I was caught in such a traffic jam that I needed a microcentury for a picoparsec and that my car’s fuel consumption was two tenths of a square millimetre.
The microcentury is not a formal unit of measurement and is chiefly used for humorous hyperbole emphasizing the subjective feeling of an hour having taken an eternity, as during a boring lecture.