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Time‐resolved spectroscopy has been used in a Xe pulsed discharge. The analysis reveals a delay in the onset of emission which is characteristic of the ion, suggesting that this can be related to the time for exciting each ionization stage, for given discharge conditions. This lag is longer for higher ions. The delay determination was done characterizing it for several lines of each ion; only some are listed below. The results enable a characterization of all the nonclassified Xe lines which are known to lase in the visible and the near UV, as belonging to three different groups of ions. One has temporal lags which coincides with those of Xe iv well‐classified lines; the other two, each having longer time delays, are assigned as transitions in higher ions.