In computer science there is the term real-time. Is there any word to say something is not real time? Non-real time doesn't sound good to me.

  • 8
    The answer might be batch processing, but it depends on what you mean by "opposite".
    – J.R.
    Aug 5, 2013 at 9:29

7 Answers 7


Lets take an example here: You login to your Facebook account and post a comment. How Facebook updates this comment to your Facebook wall and your friends wall & also the time delay will determine the update mode. (although there are other parameters also).

1. Real Time- Comment is updated online and delay is less than 2 seconds.

2. Near Real Time- A delay of 2~10 seconds is expected, however, exact definition depends on SLA between the involved parties. Facebook works on near real time mode.

3. Offline Mode or Batch Processing- The data is updated via files to the database, exact definition depends on SLA between the involved parties. In general time delay is in hours (in every ~6 to 12 hrs). Offline or batch processing is answer to your question.


Deferred could definitely be used to denote what is not real-time in appropriate contexts.

For ex: Deferred is already used by Oracle as a part of a term Deferred Processing which is a feature that allows long-running tasks to be handled by background engines instead of in real time. More here.


If it's not real-time, it's non-real-time. Other terms may be useful to describe something which is non-real-time, but that is nonetheless the correct term.


In computer science, real-time is used to describe a characteristic of reactive systems, those have a constraint on the delay between the event and the response to the event. (It is often subdivided in hard --- when missing any deadline is a failure --- firm --- when missing some deadline is allowed at the cost of reducing the quality and missed responses are of no utility --- and soft --- when having a late response is better than having none). I know of no word describing non-real-time systems in this sense.

Batch or offline systems are just systems which are working alone, as opposed to online systems which interact either with the world (the reactive systems) or users (the interactive systems).

As usual, definitions tend to vary a little depending on authors and their purpose (especially the division between interactive systems and soft real-time one is more one of intend, context and tradition than anything else).


  • Real-time is also used informally to describe interactive systems for which the interaction is quick enough that it doesn't suffer from the response time. Non-real-time systems in this sense are just called slow.

  • Online/offline is also used to describes systems needing or not needing a network connection.


If you are looking at "age" and "operability" of business data, you might consider "historical" vs. "real-time" data.


These aren't exact antonyms, but I think they would work in certain contexts. My use case is: "realtime games vs ___ games".

You could emphasize the difference in length of time with: extended, ongoing, or long-term.

You could emphasize the broken quality of time with: discontinuous, periodic, fragmented, or intermittent.


Try to use "Near-Real time" as antonym for real time.

  • 1
    what about "offline"?
    – kmetin
    Aug 5, 2013 at 9:36
  • Hi, I think offline is also a good option, but, it is oftenly used as antonym for "Online".
    – Prateek
    Aug 5, 2013 at 10:11
  • Near real-time means its close to real-time, which is not exactly the opposite of real-time.
    – Nirmal
    Jun 11 at 8:46

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