Meaning – The term response time, refers to the elapsed time between the end of an inquiry or demand on a computer system and the beginning of the response; for example, the length of time between an indication of the end of an inquiry and the display of the first character of the response at a user terminal.
Used as a measurement of system performance, response time may refer to service requests in a variety of technologies. Low response times may be critical to successful computing.
Many people use the terms “response time” and “latency” interchangeably. However, latency has more to do with the time delay between a particular cause and effect.
Example of usage – “Accounting for time demands made on a computer system can take many different forms. In computer networking, for instance, response times between two systems can be measured and viewed using such commands as ping or traceroute.”