Recent experiments showed that irreversible structural change or plasticity could occur in metallic glasses (MGs) even within the apparent elastic limit after a sufficiently long waiting time. To explain this phenomenon, a stochastic shear transformation model is developed based on a unified rate theory to predict delayed yielding in MGs, which is validated afterwards through extensive atomistic simulations carried out on different MGs. On a fundamental level, an analytic framework is established in this work that links time, stress, and temperature altogether into a general yielding criterion for MGs.

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