Main definitions of second in English

: second1second2second3

second1

ordinal number

  • 1Constituting number two in a sequence; coming after the first in time or order; 2nd.

    ‘he married for a second time’
    ‘Herbert was the second of their six children’
    ‘the second of October’
    ‘the second-youngest player’
    • ‘"Your room is upstairs, the second from the left.’
    • ‘There have been a large number of orders and the second publication will be out shortly.’
    • ‘All of the various powers were fighting the war in order to shape the second half of the 20th century.’
    • ‘However, sources say this is the second time the constables are being transferred.’
    • ‘At 48, Anita Sarawak (second from left) is the grand dame of this quartet.’
    • ‘As far as the second point of order is concerned, I ruled in favour of the member raising it.’
    • ‘Moreover, it soared to nearly 7 % in the second quarter this year.’
    • ‘The second step is an order to transfer the money abroad to the account of an offshore company.’
    • ‘Our second order of business is just as much a threat to our existence as the first topic.’
    • ‘The second defendant ordered the victim to leap down from the roof of a gazebo.’
    • ‘The second number in the order is something that I do not think that my learned friend has strong views upon.’
    • ‘If dealer does the latter, a second round of bidding occurs in which eldest hand has the right to name the trump suit.’
    • ‘The company is expected to take a number of the potential buyers through to a second round of bidding.’
    • ‘They are second from left and far right in the photo below.’
    • ‘Six or seven were selected for a second round of improvisations, this time with Pamela playing their mother.’
    • ‘The second phase consisted of a timed withdrawal along five defensive lines south to the Bataan Peninsula.’
    • ‘Halfway into the second quarter the Titans were in the lead 14 to 0.’
    • ‘The home side drew level with two second half goals.’
    • ‘Only the leading two parties go through to the second round in each of 577 constituencies.’
    • ‘Mrs Cryer spoke to former health minister Jacqui Smith, who ordered a second inquiry.’
    next, following, after the first, subsequent, ensuing, succeeding, coming
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Secondly (used to introduce a second point or reason)
      ‘second, they are lightly regulated; and third, they do business with non-resident clients’
      • ‘First, it comes from the country that gave the world Mussolini and second, it will break down.’
    2. 1.2Music An interval spanning two consecutive notes in a diatonic scale.
      • ‘It's a row you can hum, for it emphasizes thirds and fourths, rather than seconds and tritones.’
      • ‘There is little dissonance beyond frequent major seconds (next-door notes).’
      • ‘With its visceral tritones and flatted seconds, the band's sound revolved more around the riff than the song.’
    3. 1.3 The note which is higher by a second interval than the tonic of a diatonic scale or root of a chord.
    4. 1.4 The second in a sequence of a vehicle's gears.
      ‘he took the corner in second’
      • ‘I slip the bike into the second of 24 powerful gears and accelerate to six miles an hour.’
    5. 1.5Baseball Second base.
      • ‘He looks for the same pitch with nobody on base as when there is a runner on second.’
    6. 1.6British The second form of a school or college.
    7. 1.7secondsinformal A second course or second helping of food at a meal.
      • ‘I make a huge dinner with enough for everyone to eat and maybe some people could even have seconds if there was food and they were motivated.’
      a second helping, a further helping, more
      View synonyms
    8. 1.8 Denoting someone or something regarded as comparable to or reminiscent of a better-known predecessor.
      ‘a fear that the conflict would turn into a second Vietnam’
      • ‘Iraq is becoming a second Vietnam with the same tired strategies.’
      • ‘Will their ever be a second "Beatles"?’
      another, duplicate, reproduction, twin, double, new, replicate, matching
      View synonyms
  • 2Subordinate or inferior in position, rank, or importance.

    ‘it was second only to Copenhagen among Baltic ports’
    ‘he is a writer first and a scientist second’
    • ‘The time was the second fastest of the day of 48 at that distance.’
    • ‘When she first got here, she was ranked second from the bottom of the entire class.’
    • ‘Airport bosses say Leeds Bradford is the second fastest growing airport in the UK.’
    • ‘Bangladesh was ranked second highest with 37 attacks.’
    • ‘The second major concern is the message that this sends to the international community.’
    • ‘The first one being simply waved off, it is the second aspect that takes importance.’
    • ‘The results reveal that cocaine is the second most common drug to show up in tests, with cannabis the most frequent.’
    • ‘Speeding ranks a distant second at 19.7 percent.’
    • ‘She slid a very severe glance at the captain and his second in command.’
    • ‘They even showed signs of the team that became everyone's second favourite last year.’
    • ‘The county has become the second fastest-growing local economy in Scotland.’
    • ‘Wiltshire is currently ranked as the second safest county in the country.’
    • ‘The second fastest was 156 kph, which was over there again in 2000.’
    • ‘Just look at Newcastle, they are second from bottom, like we are.’
    • ‘For many decades Colombia was the world's second leading producer of coffee behind Brazil.’
    • ‘He has impressed in the health brief and is now ranked second favourite by some bookies.’
    • ‘Here's a device built principally for shuffle mode first, with sequential listening second.’
    • ‘Switzerland is perhaps second only to Germany in enthusiasm for Lebkuchen.’
    • ‘Aids has become the world's second leading cause of infectious disease deaths.’
    • ‘Since Ryel was now second in command, there was only one person left.’
    secondary, lower, subordinate, subsidiary, lesser, minor, subservient, supporting, lower-grade, inferior
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1 Additional to that already existing, used, or possessed.
      ‘a second home’
      ‘French as a second language’
      • ‘In that case, are there any advantages to starting second language teaching at an early age?’
      • ‘It is law and important that the second seal be used to prevent any misuse of the first.’
      • ‘Finbar's family ordered a second post-mortem on his body when it arrived in Dublin on Monday.’
      • ‘Research shows immersion is an effective method of teaching French as a second language.’
      • ‘Stakeholder pensions are second pensions in addition to the basic state pension that everyone gets.’
      • ‘Why it's moonlighting of course or the holding of a second job in addition to your regular one.’
      • ‘At 8pm our main courses arrived, and we ordered a second bottle of house wine.’
      • ‘The second thing, and probably the most important, was that I didn't need faith to survive.’
      • ‘Plenty of foreign buyers also buy in order to have a second property or retirement property.’
      • ‘The child may have already had some teaching in Swedish as a second language.’
      • ‘Just learned from my German publisher that he ordered a second print run of my book.’
      • ‘A second type of contractual-debt subordination is a contingency debt arrangement.’
      • ‘Part of his prize money is already earmarked for a second birthday present later this week.’
      • ‘Before we left, a second waitress appeared and things speeded up markedly.’
      • ‘In the past a second option for countries was to import gold - either by trade or by war.’
      • ‘A second court order has now been made directing Ms Andersen to return the children immediately.’
      • ‘The GP is vaccinating up to 15 children a day, and he is now placing his second order.’
      • ‘A second doctor must be consulted, and life must be ended in a medically appropriate way.’
      • ‘Grainger denies one charge of robbery and a second charge of possessing a firearm with intent to commit robbery.’
      • ‘The book is targeted at learners who are past their teens and learning English as a second language.’
      • ‘Gaby says she knows someone who may be able to do a second environmental test.’
      • ‘In forensic science laboratories, a second scientist validates each case.’
      additional, extra, fresh, another, further, repeat, supplementary, supplemental
      spare, extra, additional, alternative, another, backup, relief, fallback, substitute, auxiliary, ancillary
      View synonyms
    2. 2.2 The second finisher or position in a race or competition.
      ‘he finished second’
      • ‘Morales garnered 21 percent of the ballot to place a surprise second in the presidential race.’
      • ‘The last drawing competition I entered I came second in the whole of Victoria.’
      • ‘After winning the qualifying heats she finished a close second in the final.’
      • ‘The Swiss club with no domestic titles finished second in its league last season.’
      • ‘The team have been regular entrants in the competition and finished second five years ago.’
      • ‘Cindy Medina, based at Fairmount Park, finished second with nine points.’
    3. 2.3British A place in the second grade in an examination, especially for a degree.
    4. 2.4Music Performing a lower or subordinate of two or more parts for the same instrument or voice.
      ‘the second violins’
      • ‘We note that the twelve first violins were playing identical notes, as were the second violins.’
      • ‘She played second violin in a philharmonic orchestra that happened to be visiting my town.’
      • ‘The first oboes hold a sustained top B for 4 bars, the second oboes descend from D to C.’
      • ‘Lines are passed from the flutes, to the low brass, to the tubas and bass clarinets, and finally to the horns and second trumpets.’
      • ‘I was seated as first chair of the second clarinets in the all-state high school honors band.’
    5. 2.5seconds Goods of an inferior quality.
      imperfect goods, faulty goods, defective goods, flawed goods, inferior goods, rejects, export rejects, discards
      View synonyms
    6. 2.6the seconds The reserve team of a sports club.
      • ‘The clubs' first and third teams were due to play each other at Sandylands on December 27, while the seconds were scheduled to play at Settle on the same day.’
      • ‘Stand-off Chris Meehan is fit again after his troubles in Newcastle city centre, when he was victim of an attack, but he will play for the seconds.’
      • ‘Carlow ladies travelled to Kilkenny on Saturday to play this back match against Wexford seconds.’
    7. 2.7 Coarse flour, or bread made from it.
  • 3An attendant assisting a combatant in a duel or boxing match.

    • ‘It included a tryst with a young man, who volunteered to be a second in a duel.’
    • ‘As the second stooped to assist her fallen friend, who should walk towards the hotel entrance but their hero.’
    1. 3.1 A Cub or Brownie chosen by their pack to assist the Sixer and replace them when they are absent.

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Formally support or endorse (a nomination or resolution or its proposer) as a necessary preliminary to adoption or further discussion.

    ‘Bridgeman seconded Maxwell's motion calling for the reform’
    • ‘This nomination is to be seconded by Singapore.’
    • ‘The vice-chairman proposed writing to the Minister on the matter and the proposal was seconded by Paddy Flannery.’
    • ‘The adoption of the Estimate was seconded by Ald.’
    • ‘Major supported her, and seconded her nomination for the first ballot.’
    • ‘Dick Shannon seconded this proposal and it was agreed by all members, who gave a warm round of applause to Mr Maxwell.’
    • ‘The New York Stock Exchange seconded the proposal in June.’
    • ‘The Premierleague is a self-determining body which requires motions to be proposed and seconded by existing members.’
    • ‘The proposal was seconded by Senator Paddy Burke.’
    • ‘Peter Flynn seconded the proposal but added that this was just another example of the government's stealth taxes.’
    • ‘The motion was seconded and approved unanimously.’
    • ‘Alvar had recommended that they follow it, and Lexa had seconded the motion.’
    • ‘Mr. Rody Kelly seconded the proposal adding he was pleased to see the theatre would be linked to the new visual arts centre.’
    • ‘His proposal is being seconded by Geoff Holmes (Bradford).’
    • ‘A speaker from Strathclyde seconded this resolution.’
    • ‘In seconding the proposal, Senator Jim Higgins said he had known both gentlemen for many years.’
    • ‘The adoption of the plan was seconded by Councillor Richard Finn.’
    • ‘After the nomination was seconded, we voted on whether to give John a bid.’
    • ‘One by one, the men and women in the room seconded the motion.’
    • ‘Patrick Durcan seconded his proposal and went a step further in suggesting the council seek a meeting with An Post.’
    • ‘The proposal was seconded by Alderman Jim McGarry, who slammed rumours that the scheme would not come.’
    formally support, give one's support to, announce one's support for, vote for, back, back up, approve, give one's approval to, endorse, promote, commend
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Express agreement with.
      ‘her view is seconded by most Indian leaders today’
      • ‘It was with a slightly lighter heart that she seconded her son's recommendation.’
      • ‘Nah, really I'd like to second what everyone is saying.’
      • ‘The appeals court advised retirees to seek help from Congress, a recommendation seconded by major veterans organizations, which predict the courts won't fix the problem.’
      • ‘Five years later, Paul Mantz seconded Prost's suggestion, adding that the painting was ‘without contest a work of art.’’
      • ‘‘I agree,’ Gabe seconded, folding his arms across his chest.’
      • ‘Leader of the US delegation, then-Vice President Al Gore's view was seconded and reiterated by distinguished speakers from all over the world.’
      • ‘Circumcision was a sign of ‘the inherent barbarism of this people’, a view seconded by a Dr Hacker in a medical journal during 1843.’
      • ‘McAuley seconded Hope's sentiment and sought in transitory embraces an answer to his nagging fear of emotional impairment.’
      • ‘All evidence pointed to it and his gut feeling seconded his view.’
      • ‘That view is seconded by Robert Bryce in his book.’
      • ‘A view that was seconded by actor Pankaj Kapoor, who pointed out that ‘all we did was stay truthful to the script’.’
      • ‘I also second the suggestion of Duel To The Death, which has great sword work.’
      • ‘I'll second what Jasper just said.’
      • ‘I seconded his recommendation and gave out the website address to the audience.’
    2. 1.2archaic Support; back up.
      ‘so well was he seconded by the multitude of labourers at his command’

Phrases

  • in the second place

    • As a second consideration or point.

      • ‘And in the second place, what sort of sense does it make to release details of the payment?’
      • ‘And in the second place, it would also then change, I think, the attitude of the world towards the armed conflict.’
      • ‘There is already too much fighting in the world to contend with in the first place and in the second place, I am sure I have other things I can be doing.’
      • ‘We find that very untrue in the first place, and very unpleasant in the second place.’
      • ‘And, in the second place, Paul is madly in love with ‘Dragonfly’, the lead character.’
      • ‘And in the second place, it just leaves more room for you and me.’
      • ‘None of this boded very well for the Secreta Alf, who, in the first place, didn't like cold, and, in the second place, didn't like people.’
      • ‘It was controversial because, in the first place, the Government would not release it, and, in the second place, estimates made by private sector bankers were very large and the Government disputed them.’
      • ‘In the first place, then, there are those propositions we simply see to be true; in the second place there are those propositions we see to follow from those in the first group.’
      • ‘And in the second place, I'm not putting any moves on her.’
  • second to none

    • The best, worst, fastest, etc.

      ‘the group has a reputation that is second to none in the building industry’
      • ‘To put the record straight, the UK nuclear submarine flotilla has a nuclear safety record second to none.’
      • ‘He worked harder than anyone and his course management was second to none.’
      • ‘They are, in fact, proving that they are second to none in developing creative attributes.’
      • ‘The character design is second to none, and they've really taken advantage of the machine's strengths.’
      • ‘This was a much deserved honour to a truly wonderful lady, gifted by God with a musical talent second to none.’
      • ‘In training, I've seen him working really hard and his attitude is second to none.’
      • ‘This is a country that's proven second to none when it comes to putting curling on the TV airwaves.’
      • ‘The journalists who work for this newspaper are some of the best in the country and their ethics are second to none.’
      • ‘The welcome extended to them was second to none and the children will have many happy memories of their visit.’
      • ‘The food was quite wonderful, the atmosphere perfect and the welcome second to none.’
      incomparable, matchless, unrivalled, inimitable, beyond compare, unparalleled, without parallel, unequalled, without equal, unmatched, in a class of its own, beyond comparison, peerless, unsurpassed, unsurpassable, nonpareil, unique
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English: via Old French from Latin secundus ‘following, second’, from the base of sequi ‘follow’. The verb dates from the late 16th century.

Pronunciation

second

/ˈsɛk(ə)nd/

Main definitions of second in English

: second1second2second3

second2

noun

  • 1A sixtieth of a minute of time, which as the SI unit of time is defined in terms of the natural periodicity of the radiation of a caesium-133 atom.

    • ‘In a span of about ten seconds, Jane went from shocked, to deliriously happy to devastated.’
    • ‘The grenade would probably only last ten seconds at best.’
    • ‘Within a span of seconds, the entire shelter was bathed in darkness.’
    • ‘If no symptoms are present and the sinus pauses last three seconds or less, no further evaluation is necessary.’
    • ‘She was now five minutes and twenty eight seconds late.’
    • ‘But, my question is: why is it four minutes and thirty three seconds long in the first place?’
    • ‘Only thirty seconds had passed since she last checked!’
    • ‘The meters have also become more efficient and it takes only five seconds to obtain the readings.’
    • ‘The angrily snapped words were greeted with a full five seconds of silence.’
    • ‘Torrance squeezed the trigger, waited twenty five seconds and fired again.’
    • ‘Then, in the span of 81 seconds, the Americans scored two goals.’
    • ‘The score that well and truly got Tallow back into contention came just sixty seconds before the half-time break.’
    • ‘They are quite fast, and can cross a hundred meter span in eight seconds.’
    • ‘He faced the younger man, and, in a span of two seconds, managed to down him with a very strong punch on the face.’
    • ‘God, why couldn't he have come just three seconds earlier?’
    • ‘Tullow clinched victory in the last thirty seconds of the game.’
    • ‘He waited a few cold seconds of silence and then talked past me to Mel.’
    • ‘Gardner and teammates watched helplessly as the final six seconds ticked off the clock.’
    • ‘Footage also shows the fuel tank's nose cone hit a bird just seconds after liftoff yesterday.’
    • ‘His time of 8 minutes 51 seconds took some four seconds off his personal best time.’
    1. 1.1informal A very short time.
      ‘his eyes met Charlotte's for a second’
      • ‘In a second he was out of bed, running towards the burglar and ‘screeching’ at him to get out.’
      • ‘Everyone bought what was put in the basket without even a second's hesitation.’
      • ‘I opened my mouth for a second and then closed it, not sure what to do.’
      • ‘It is hard to restrain yourself from gobbling them up the second they come to the table.’
      • ‘The second the plane stopped on the runway, half of the passengers leapt up, almost as if choreographed.’
      • ‘Being unaware of time, he didn't know if he'd been dead a few seconds or millions of years.’
      • ‘For a second he looked directly at her - a miracle in itself - and she saw fear in his eyes.’
      • ‘Because, as everyone knows, an item always redeems its value the second you throw it away.’
      • ‘Phew, for a second I thought you were going to tell me something serious.’
      • ‘Whether this process takes seconds or years, God will answer you and show you his love.’
      • ‘Why, wait just one second… that's a gentleman on the stage!’
      • ‘The two top draws for the WWF in the last year were seconds away from going toe to toe.’
      moment, bit, little while, short time, instant, split second
      soon, very soon, in a minute, in a moment, in a trice, in a flash, shortly, any minute, any minute now, in a short time, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, in no time, in less than no time, in no time at all, before you know it, before long
      View synonyms
  • 2A sixtieth of a minute of angular distance.

    • ‘In actual numbers its resolution is about half an arc second, which is equivalent of seeing a five cent piece from about 10 kilometres away.’
    • ‘It crosses at a point 50 seconds of arc to the east of the previous year.’
    • ‘These gave results correct to 1 second of arc but were not too practical as the series converged slowly.’
    • ‘By the way, one second of arc is not to be confused as a measure of time!’
    • ‘For a gyroscope in polar orbit, it works out to be about 0.041 arc second per year.’

Origin

Late Middle English: from medieval Latin secunda (minuta) ‘second (minute)’, feminine (used as a noun) of secundus, referring to the ‘second’ operation of dividing an hour by sixty.

Pronunciation

second

/ˈsɛk(ə)nd/

Main definitions of second in English

: second1second2second3

second3

verb

[WITH OBJECT]British
  • Transfer (a military officer or other official or worker) temporarily to other employment or another position.

    ‘I was seconded to a public relations unit’
    • ‘Scottish officers have been seconded to the group from the country's eight forces.’
    • ‘Workers want to be seconded to the winning company, rather than transferred, to protect their employment rights and pensions.’
    • ‘They are also protesting the employers' refusal to pay benefits to workers seconded to the water utility companies.’
    • ‘Kenneth Mason and Gordon McIvor were seconded to the association and worked as paid officials.’
    • ‘A temporary officer will also be seconded to the Youth Offending Team, on a permanent arrangement.’
    • ‘They want to remain as council employees and be seconded to any private company brought in to run the service.’
    • ‘He anticipated that both the secretary and liaison officer would be seconded from government departments.’
    • ‘Importantly, we have to work out what powers it would have over state and territory police officers seconded to the Australian Crime Commission.’
    • ‘A rank and file police officer seconded to his union to help activate traditionally passive members has been named the Organiser of the Year for 2000.’
    • ‘The Johannesburg Metro Police Department has seconded ten officers dedicated to the enforcement of these by-laws.’
    • ‘One officer seconded from the Premier's Department is there now.’
    • ‘This trend continued after Crown rule in 1858 and nearly all military engineers seconded to the Indian Army were British sapper officers.’
    • ‘When finishing her general training she was seconded to work in a maternity unit for three months.’
    • ‘Not long after he was seconded to the Royal Air Force as a liaison officer, he claimed he had annoyed the Brigadier.’
    • ‘Commodore Dayka Smythe was a gunnery control officer seconded to the Royal Navy at the time of the Normandy invasion.’
    • ‘Reed was its national convenor, while Bone and Cook were seconded to work for the forum from their Rotherham Council jobs.’
    • ‘With fronts opening up in the Mediterranean area, the regiment was seconded to the Australian army.’
    • ‘Prior to that he worked in the government economic service and was seconded to the Forestry Commission and the Scottish Office.’
    • ‘In May 1942, Truscott, as a colonel, was seconded to Combined Operations headquarters in London.’
    • ‘The mutual aid process, in which officers are seconded to other forces, has also come under scrutiny.’
    assign temporarily, lend
    View synonyms

Origin

Early 19th century: from French en second ‘in the second rank (of officers)’.

Pronunciation

second

/sɪˈkɒnd/