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second definition

Overview

This page has 35 definitions of second in English, French, and Middle English. Second is an adjective, an adverb, noun and verb. Examples of how to use second in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

English second definition

English numbers (edit)
20
[a], [b] ←  1 2 3  → [a], [b]
    Cardinal: two
    Ordinal: second, deutero-
    Latinate ordinal: secondary
    Adverbial: twice
    Multiplier: double, twofold
    Distributive: doubly
    Collective: both, pair, dyad, twosome
    Fractional: half
    Number of musicians: duo, duet, duplet

Etymology 1

From Middle English secunde, second, secound, secund, borrowed from Old French second, seond, from Latin secundus (following, next in order), from root of sequor (I follow), from Proto-Indo-European *sekʷ- (to follow). Doublet of secundo. Displaced native twoth and partially displaced native other (from Old English ōþer (other; next; second)).

Alternative forms

Pronunciation

Adjective

second (not comparable)

  1. Number-two; following after the first one with nothing between them. The ordinal number corresponding to the cardinal number two.
    He lives on Second Street.
    The second volume in "The Lord of the Rings" series is called "The Two Towers".
    You take the first one, and I'll have the second.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Eye Witness”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, OCLC 483591931, page 249:
      The story struck the depressingly familiar note with which true stories ring in the tried ears of experienced policemen. [] The second note, the high alarum, not so familiar and always important since it indicates the paramount sin in Man's private calendar, took most of them by surprise although they had been well prepared.
  2. Next to the first in value, power, excellence, dignity, or rank; secondary; subordinate; inferior.
  3. Being of the same kind as one that has preceded; another.
    Residents of Texas prepared for Hurricane Harvey, which would in some ways turn out to become the second Hurricane Katrina.
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Adverb

second (not comparable)

  1. (with superlative) After the first; at the second rank.
    Saturn is the second largest planet.
  2. After the first occurrence but before the third.
    He is batting second today.
Translations

Noun

second (plural seconds)

  1. Something that is number two in a series.
  2. Something that is next in rank, quality, precedence, position, status, or authority.
  3. The place that is next below or after first in a race or contest.
  4. (usually in the plural) A manufactured item that, though still usable, fails to meet quality control standards.
    They were discounted because they contained blemishes, nicks or were otherwise factory seconds.
  5. (usually in the plural) An additional helping of food.
    That was good barbecue. I hope I can get seconds.
  6. A chance or attempt to achieve what should have been done the first time, usually indicating success this time around. (See second-guess.)
    • 2003, Sheila Ryan Wallace, The Sea Captain and His Ladies[1], page 22:
      The policeman smiled, his eyes twinkling. "Now if you'll follow me, I'll escort you to the Victoria."
      "Oh, there's no need of that. If you'll just point me in the right direction..."
      That's what got you in trouble the first time around. You don't need a second.
    • 2009, Paulette Jiles, Stormy Weather[2], page 37:
      Smoky Joe ran against a Houston horse named Cherokee Chief.
      “Don't hit him,” Jeanine said to the jockey. “Maybe once. But you don't get a second.”
    • 2011, Karen Miller, The Innocent Mage[3]:
      I'll have one chance to show them that's no longer true. One chance ... and if I stumble, I'll not get a second.
  7. (music) The interval between two adjacent notes in a diatonic scale (either or both of them may be raised or lowered from the basic scale via any type of accidental).
  8. The second gear of an engine.
  9. (baseball) Second base.
  10. The agent of a party to an honour dispute whose role was to try to resolve the dispute or to make the necessary arrangements for a duel.[1]
  11. A Cub Scout appointed to assist the sixer.
    • 1995, Boy Scouts of Canada. National Council, The Cub Book
      Many packs have a sixer's council where the sixers, and sometimes the seconds, meet with Akela and some of the other leaders.
    Synonym: seconder
  12. (informal) A second-class honours degree.
Related terms
Translations

Verb

second (third-person singular simple present seconds, present participle seconding, simple past and past participle seconded)

  1. (transitive) To agree as a second person to (a proposal), usually to reach a necessary quorum of two. (See under #Etymology 3 for translations.)
    I second the motion.
  2. To follow in the next place; to succeed.
    • 1655, Thomas Fuller, James Nichols, editor, The Church History of Britain, [], volume (please specify |volume=I to III), new edition, London: [] [James Nichols] for Thomas Tegg and Son, [], published 1837, OCLC 913056315:
      In the method of nature, a low valley is immediately seconded with an ambitious hill.
    • 1698, Robert South, Twelve Sermons upon Several Subjects and Occasions:
      Sin is usually seconded with sin.
  3. (climbing) To climb after a lead climber.
Translations

Etymology 2

From Middle English secunde, seconde, borrowed from Old French seconde, from Medieval Latin secunda, short for secunda pars minuta (second diminished part (of the hour)).

Alternative forms

  • (SI unit of time): (abbreviations) s, sec; (symbols) s (SI and non-scientific usage), sec (in non-scientific usage only)
  • (unit of angle): (abbreviations) arcsec, "

Pronunciation

  • enPR: sĕʹkənd, IPA(key): /ˈsɛk.(ə)nd/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsɛk.(ə)nd/, /ˈsɛk.(ə)nt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: sec‧ond

Noun

second (plural seconds)

A light flashing approximately once per second
  1. One-sixtieth of a minute; the SI unit of time, defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of radiation corresponding to the transition between two hyperfine levels of caesium-133 in a ground state at a temperature of absolute zero and at rest.
  2. A unit of angle equal to one-sixtieth of a minute of arc or one part in 3600 of a degree.
  3. (informal) A short, indeterminate amount of time.
    I'll be there in a second.
Synonyms
Derived terms
Translations
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Dictionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Etymology 3

From Middle French seconder, from Latin secundō (assist, make favorable).

Pronunciation

Transfer temporarily
  • enPR: səkŏnd', IPA(key): /səˈkɒnd/
  • Rhymes: -ɒnd
  • Hyphenation: sec‧ond
Assist, Agree
  • enPR: sĕʹkənd, IPA(key): /ˈsɛk.(ə)nd/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsɛk.(ə)nd/, /ˈsɛk.(ə)nt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: sec‧ond

Verb

second (third-person singular simple present seconds, present participle seconding, simple past and past participle seconded)

  1. (transitive, Britain) To transfer temporarily to alternative employment.
    The army officer was seconded while he held civil office.
    • 1961 October, “Talking of Trains: Last of the M.S.W.J.R.”, in Trains Illustrated, pages 585-586:
      Things changed quickly from 1892 when Sam Fay was seconded from the L.S.W.R. as General Manager & Secretary.
    • 1998, Paul Leonard, chapter 9, in Dreamstone Moon:
      Daniel had still been surprised, however, to find the lab area deserted, all the scientists apparently seconded by Cleomides's military friends.
  2. (transitive) To assist or support; to back.
  3. (transitive) To agree as a second person to (a proposal), usually to reach a necessary quorum of two. (This may come from the English adjective above.)
    I second the motion.
  4. (transitive, music) To accompany by singing as the second performer.
Derived terms
Translations

Noun

second (plural seconds)

  1. One who supports another in a contest or combat, such as a dueller's assistant.
    • 1820, Pierce Egan, Sporting Anecdotes, page 414:
      The dogs however parted, and after a little handling by their seconds immediately returned to the charge
    • 1973, Frank Brady, Bobby Fischer: Profile of a Prodigy, page 201:
      They find ways to take advice from their seconds or they arrange the schedule against you as they did to me in the finals of the 1962 World Tournament
    • 1992, International Courts for the Twenty-First Century, page 10:
      Vaguely reminiscent of the use of "seconds" among duelists, this provision required that the two hostile nations stop threatening each other and, instead, to let two appointed countries (their "seconds") try and solve their difficulties
    • 2009, David Brakke, Demons and the Making of the Monk: Spiritual Combat in Early ...:
      Theodore's practice is described as a model for the housemasters and their seconds
  2. One who supports or seconds a motion, or the act itself, as required in certain meetings to pass judgement etc.
    If we want the motion to pass, we will need a second.
  3. (obsolete) Aid; assistance; help.
    • 1608, J. Fletcher, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      Give second, and my love / Is everlasting thine.
Translations

Further reading

second on Wikipedia.Wikipedia

References

Anagrams


French second definition

Alternative forms

  • (abbreviation) 2d, 2e

Etymology

From Old French secunt, second, segont, borrowed as a semi-learned term from Latin secundus (second); related to sequi (follow). Doublet of son (bran), which was inherited.

Pronunciation

Adjective

French numbers (edit)
20
 ←  1 2 3  → 
    Cardinal: deux
    Ordinal: deuxième, second
    Multiplier: double
    Fractional: demi, moitié

second (feminine singular seconde, masculine plural seconds, feminine plural secondes)

  1. second
    une seconde possibilitéa second possibility, another possibility
    • 1863, Gautier, Fracasse:
      « Chiquita! Chiquita! » À la seconde appellation, une fillette maigre et hâve (...) s'avança vers Agostin.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)

Derived terms

Related terms

Synonyms

Usage notes

For added "precision and elegance", the French Academy recommends using second when only two items are being considered, reserving deuxième for other situations, i.e. when more than two items are being considered;[1] although this rule is not mandatory.[1] The Academy however advises against ever replacing second with deuxième in fixed idioms such as de seconde main or seconde nature.[1]

Noun

second m (plural seconds)

  1. assistant, first mate
    • 1874, Gobineau, Pléiades:
      Je m'attachai aux pas de miss Harriet et lui servis de second dans le classement du linge.
      (please add an English translation of this quote)

Synonyms

Derived terms

References

Anagrams


Middle English second definition

Adjective

second

  1. Alternative form of secunde (after the first)

Noun

second

  1. Alternative form of secunde (after the first)

Old French second definition

Etymology

Borrowed from Latin secundus.

Pronunciation

Adjective

second m (oblique and nominative feminine singular seconde)

  1. second

Declension

Descendants