sec·​ond | \ˈse-kənd also -kənt, especially before a consonant -kən, -kᵊŋ \

Definition of second 

(Entry 1 of 5)

1a : next to the first in place or time was second in line

b(1) : next to the first in value, excellence, or degree his second choice of schools

(2) : inferior, subordinate was second to none

c : ranking next below the top of a grade or degree in authority or precedence second mate

d : alternate, other elects a mayor every second year

e : resembling or suggesting a prototype : another a second Thoreau

f : being the forward gear or speed next higher than first in a motor vehicle

2 : relating to or having a part typically subordinate to and lower in pitch than the first part in concerted or ensemble music


noun (1)

Definition of second (Entry 2 of 5)

1a : one that is number two in a series — see Table of Numbers

b : one that is next after the first in rank, position, authority, or precedence the second in line

2 : one that assists or supports another especially : the assistant of a duelist or boxer

3a : the musical interval embracing two diatonic degrees

b : a tone at this interval specifically : supertonic

c : the harmonic combination of two tones a second apart

4a seconds plural : merchandise that is usually slightly flawed and does not meet the manufacturer's standard for firsts or irregulars

b : an article of such merchandise

5 : the act or declaration by which a parliamentary motion is seconded

6 : a place next below the first in a competition, examination, or contest

8 : the second forward gear or speed of a motor vehicle

9 seconds plural : a second helping of food



Definition of second (Entry 3 of 5)

1 : in the second place : secondly These two kinds of image … have a powerful appeal for us, first, because we are all … inevitably concerned about our fate, and second, because our concern is itself twofold…— Robert Penn Warren

2 : before all others with one exception the nation's second largest city They are my second favorite band.


noun (2)

Definition of second (Entry 4 of 5)

1a : the 60th part of a minute of angular measure

b : the 60th part of a minute of time : 1/86,400 part of the mean solar day specifically : the base unit of time in the International System of Units that is equal to the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the cesium-133 atom

2 : an instant of time : moment



Definition of second (Entry 5 of 5)

transitive verb

1a : to give support or encouragement to : assist

b : to support (a fighting person or group) in combat : bring up reinforcements for

2a : to support or assist in contention or debate

b : to endorse (a motion or a nomination) so that debate or voting may begin

3 \ si-​ˈkänd \ chiefly British : to release (someone, such as a military officer) from a regularly assigned position for temporary duty with another unit or organization

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Other Words from second


second or secondly adverb


seconder noun

Examples of second in a Sentence


We sat in the second row. the second house on the left B is the second letter in the alphabet. That's the second time I've seen him today. Chocolate is my first choice; vanilla is my second choice. The chair needs a second coat of paint. She plays second violin in the city orchestra.


I would like to second the motion to adjourn. “Let's call it a day.” “I'll second that.”
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First Known Use of second


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


circa 1586, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for second


Middle English, from Anglo-French secund, from Latin secundus second, following, favorable, from sequi to follow — more at sue

Noun (2)

Middle English secounde, from Medieval Latin secunda, from Latin, feminine of secundus second; from its being the second sexagesimal division of a unit, as a minute is the first


Latin secundare, from secundus second, favorable

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Time Traveler for second

The first known use of second was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for second



English Language Learners Definition of second

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: occupying the number two position in a series

: next to the first in importance or rank

: another of the same kind



English Language Learners Definition of second (Entry 2 of 2)

: to approve (something, such as a motion) during a meeting so that discussion or voting can begin

: to agree with (a suggestion or statement)

: to move (someone) from a regular job to a different place, department, etc., for a short period of time


sec·​ond | \ˈse-kənd \

Kids Definition of second

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1 : being next after the first in time or order a second child the second floor

2 : next lower in rank, value, or importance than the first second prize

3 : another of the same type a second car a second language



Kids Definition of second (Entry 2 of 5)

1 : a 60th part of a minute of time or of a degree

2 : moment sense 1, instant I'll be with you in a second.


seconded; seconding

Kids Definition of second (Entry 3 of 5)

: to support a suggestion, motion, or nomination



Kids Definition of second (Entry 4 of 5)

: in the second place or rank the second tallest mountain



Kids Definition of second (Entry 5 of 5)

: someone or something that is second Theirs is the first house, and mine is the second.

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Comments on second

What made you want to look up second? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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