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n. 1. The duration of one tick of the system clock on the computer (see tick). Often one AC cycle time (1/60 second in the U.S. and Canada, 1/50 most other places), but more recently 1/100 sec has become common. "The swapper runs every 6 jiffies" means that the virtual memory management routine is executed once for every 6 ticks of the clock, or about ten times a second.

2. Confusingly, the term is sometimes also used for a 1-millisecond wall time interval.

3. Indeterminate time from a few seconds to forever. "I'll do it in a jiffy" means certainly not now and possibly never. This is a bit contrary to the more widespread use of the word.

Oppose nano.

See also Real Soon Now.