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1A battle line behind the front line to support it and make good its losses:‘its capture would allow them to penetrate the second line of enemy defences’
- ‘He tried to form a second line but Allied cavalry swept him away: by dawn on the 24th only about half his army was intact.’
- ‘Men in the first line fought until they were killed or wounded and then men from the second line would move up to fill the space.’
- ‘Spanish artillery supported this position from a second line of defenses.’
- ‘Badrand smiled as with a huge crash, his second line joined the battle.’
- ‘Lord George, riding in advance of the second line, found himself actually in danger.’
2[as modifier] Ranking second in strength, effectiveness, ability, or value:‘second-line American computer manufacturers’
- ‘As his Wild open up their season, Daigle is pencilled in as a second-line right-winger on one of the lowest-scoring teams in the league.’
- ‘Fortunately their second-line bowlers were nowhere near as good.’
- ‘But the working musicians who populate the neighborhood clubs, second-line parades and jazz brunches, are more vulnerable, often living gig to gig.’
- ‘We have also had strong performances from some second-line stocks including Kingspan and Grafton Group.’
- ‘Beyond these two core noisemakers is a symphony of slacker strings and second-line horns.’
3[usually as modifier] A medical treatment or therapy used in support of another, or as a more drastic measure if the primary treatment is ineffective:‘second-line, expensive, often invasive tests’
- ‘These differences in second-line therapy may account for some part of the observed difference in survival.’
- ‘No ideal second-line treatment has been established if the initial therapy fails to eradicate the organism.’
- ‘Another review of several case studies recommended oral and topical retinoids as second-line therapy for the treatment of flat warts.’
- ‘At the moment, corticosteroids should only be considered as a second-line treatment, and the exact indication remains to be determined.’
- ‘Endometrial curettage may be used as a second-line treatment if pharmacological efforts have been ineffective.’
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