We are comparing two techniques in computer science. We want to say X has "significantly high latency" when executed on system Y.

Is there a better one-word term we can use for the above to mean the same as 'significantly high latency'? e.g., slow <-- but a better word than slow?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ High latency isn't equivalent to slow. It may mean delayed reaction, but in computing usually high latency solutions will deal with bulk data and be overall faster than low-latency solutions that just don't provide the throughput. $\endgroup$
    – SF.
    Nov 24, 2020 at 10:35
  • $\begingroup$ I would say that "high" on its own means it is significant. Otherwise the system just has latency, so "high latency" or "significant latency." $\endgroup$
    – Weather Vane
    Nov 24, 2020 at 11:42
  • $\begingroup$ Although this has already been migrated once, I think it would be answered better on the Computer Science stack. This is because it requires a technical term rather than general English. $\endgroup$
    – chasly - supports Monica
    Nov 24, 2020 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ @chasly-supportsMonica I agree. In particular, when you want an alternative name for existing technical terminology, I think looking for new names is not a good place to start. The first thing to do is determine why you want an alternative name, and whether the costs of introducing a new name are worth it. $\endgroup$
    – Discrete lizard
    Nov 25, 2020 at 9:36

1 Answer 1


Your question ("... has .?. when executed ...") is phrased so as to seek a noun.

latency is about delay (for many possible reasons). "High latency" implies longer delays. "significantly high latency" is not so simple to understand because significance depends on application and context. The addition of "significantly" therefore adds undefined meaning to "high latency", perhaps the loose suggestion that the delay is especially or unusually high, or that the delay somehow matters a lot.

This makes it difficult to find one word that expresses adequately the reasonably tight meaning of high latency while retaining the connection with an undefined context.

One candidate is:

retardation = the process of making something happen or develop slower than it should

Cambridge dictionary

By this definition, retardation acts as a single word for high latency while also referring obliquely (using"... than it should") to a contextual expectation that it should have been lower.

"X has/shows retardation when executed on system Y"

Nevertheless, it seems risky to introduce a new word to try to replace a conventionally used term (or a short phrase derived from it) merely for the sake of one-word brevity.


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