What would be a correct word for describing that something has a duration (in contrast to non-timable things)? Could e.g. temporal be an option?

1 Answer 1


"Temporal" means of or having to do with time. However most often the word is used in a metaphorical sense, meaning "of this world". In this sense it means "secular". This came by contrast with "eternal" used to mean the domain of God or the afterlife, mostly in a Christian context. For example, the British House of Lords was once commonly referred to as "the Lords Temporal and Spiritual". The Lords Spiritual were the Bishops, and the Lords Temporal were the Dukes, Earls, and Barons, the worldly rulers.

"temporal" would not be used to mean "something that has a duration". Something with a short duration might be called "temporary", or "transient", or "short-lived". The word "finite" might be used to indicate a limited duration, perhaps as opposed to "eternal", but would be unclear without significant context or explanation.

See this MW definition

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