Main Content


Time elapsed between date vectors



e = etime(t2,t1) returns the number of seconds between two date vectors or matrices of date vectors, t1 and t2.


collapse all

Compute the time elapsed between a specific time and the current time, to 0.01-second accuracy.

Define the initial date and time and convert to date vector form.

format shortg
str = 'March 28, 2012 11:51:00';
t1 = datevec(str,'mmmm dd, yyyy HH:MM:SS')
t1 = 1×6

        2012           3          28          11          51           0

Determine the current date and time.

t2 = clock
t2 = 1×6

         2020            8           24           19           59       26.411

The clock function returns the current date and time as a date vector.

Use etime to compute the number of seconds between t1 and t2.

e = etime(t2,t1)
e = 

Input Arguments

collapse all

Date vectors, specified as 1-by-6 vectors or m-by-6 matrices containing m full date vectors in the format:[Year Month Day Hour Minute Second].

Example: [2012 03 27 11 50 01]

Data Types: double


  • To time the duration of an event, use the timeit or tic and toc functions instead of clock and etime. The clock function is based on the system time, which can be adjusted periodically by the operating system, and thus might not be reliable in time comparison operations.


etime does not account for the following:

  • Leap seconds.

  • Daylight saving time adjustments.

  • Differences in time zones.

See Also

| | | | |

Introduced before R2006a