Definition of at second hand in English:

at second hand

phrase

  • By hearsay rather than direct observation or experience.

    • ‘The downside of computer images is their presentation of Nature at second hand.’
    • ‘Also I hated all the mania, because I'd been through all that for many many years, albeit at second hand.’
    • ‘Their influence on literature may be at second hand but is none the less important.’
    • ‘The palace consequently represents an injection of French Renaissance aesthetic taken pure and from the source, rather than mediated at second hand through the observations of visitors.’
    • ‘His quotations from classical authors are taken mostly at second hand.’
    • ‘Newman's fans among critics are either people who knew him well, worked with him, or other people who have had the experience at second hand through what these critics have written.’
    • ‘She had grown tired of experiencing life at second hand.’
    • ‘Scientific judgements, like practical principles, can be received at second hand.’
    • ‘Art reflects life at second hand, as it were, when experience and detachment integrate in a dialectical union of ‘poetic’ or ‘analytic’ experience.’
    • ‘In the book he frequently describes important meetings at second hand.’
    indirectly, at second hand, on the bush telegraph, on the jungle telegraph
    on the grapevine
    View synonyms