sec·​ond·​hand | \ ˈse-kən(d)-ˈhand How to pronounce secondhand (audio) \

Definition of secondhand

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : received from or through an intermediary : borrowed
b : derivative secondhand ideas
2a : acquired after being used by another : not new secondhand books
b : dealing in secondhand merchandise a secondhand bookstore



Definition of secondhand (Entry 2 of 4)

1 : at second hand : indirectly heard about it secondhand
2 : as a secondhand item bought the couch secondhand

second hand

noun (1)
\ ˌse-kən(d)-ˈhand How to pronounce second hand (audio) \

Definition of second hand (Entry 3 of 4)

: an intermediate person or means : intermediary usually used in the phrase at second hand

second hand

noun (2)
\ ˈsek-ən(d)-ˌhand How to pronounce second hand (audio) \

Definition of second hand (Entry 4 of 4)

: the hand marking seconds on a timepiece

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Synonyms & Antonyms for secondhand

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of secondhand in a Sentence

Adjective a dealer in secondhand furniture He's always haunting the secondhand shops for bargains.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Jeremy Aaranson held in his hands six Black Lotus cards—famously worth more than $150,000 on the secondhand market. Cecilia D'anastasio, Wired, "The Entire History of World of Warcraft," 23 Apr. 2020 The RealReal, a San Francisco company that sells secondhand luxury apparel and goods online, is laying off 10% of its staff, or 235 employees, the company announced Tuesday. Shwanika Narayan,, "Coronavirus: The RealReal lays off 235 employees, expects first quarter loss.," 14 Apr. 2020 Anybody involved with China’s auto industry can be expected to have direct or secondhand contact with Wuhan. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit auto show schedule change likely avoided earlier coronavirus outbreak, experts say," 6 Apr. 2020 Reusable or secondhand items are unlikely to spread the novel coronavirus, as long as they’re washed or disinfected in between uses. L.v. Anderson, Wired, "Covid-19 Fears Shouldn't Trash Your Zero Waste Efforts," 14 Mar. 2020 Across the courtyard, the secondhand clothes at trend toward eye-catchingly bold colors and patterns. Los Angeles Times, "Las Vegas has world-class shopping. These are the stores you can’t miss," 30 Jan. 2020 Many of you had heard it secondhand from what sounded like solid sources – people in the governor’s circle, for example -- but no one had heard it firsthand from a reliable source. Chris Quinn, Editor, cleveland, "Your unexpected and explosive interest in coronavirus alerts already has helped your neighbors: Letter from the Editor," 21 Mar. 2020 That secondhand side-eye doesn’t just apply to coffee containers. L.v. Anderson, Wired, "Covid-19 Fears Shouldn't Trash Your Zero Waste Efforts," 14 Mar. 2020 Shortly after Ivana's Trunk received its notice to vacate, E-Collectique, a secondhand Thiensville retailer, applied for a permit to open a resale shop as part of its new administrative offices at 1556 W. Mequon Road. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Mequon shuts down consignment store for zoning violation," 9 Mar. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Thrilling scours the country’s best vintage boutiques and second hand stores, carefully curating a selection of one-of-a-kind items for online shoppers, and now the brand has partnered with Banana Republic to provide a vintage shopping experience. Nandi Howard, Essence, "Thrilling Partners With Banana Republic To Provide Vintage Shopping Experience," 21 Apr. 2020 After graduation, Davis pivoted from law, instead following her passion of selling second hand luxury accessories full-time. Sara Holzman, Marie Claire, "How Fashionphile's Sarah Davis Got Her Start," 13 Apr. 2020 Within an hour of posting the invite, nearly 100 people, many who had heard about the opportunity second hand, showed up with small coolers and plastic baggies in hand. Doug Howlett, Field & Stream, "The Story Behind the New Record Bluefin Tuna," 21 Feb. 2020 Instead, after grabbing a bigger object with one hand, reach your second hand to another spot on its shaft or side and grab on. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Boneworks review: An absolute VR mess—yet somehow momentous," 12 Dec. 2019 New designs frequently recall classic models, in a cycle of self-reference as constant as the ticking of a second hand. New York Times, "Jell-O as Art, Apocalypse-Ready Clothing and More," 30 Aug. 2019 Back in 2013, the former mixed martial artist and special forces combat trainer purchased a second hand camera off Craigslist simply to document his road to recovery from two injured knees. Daniel Gallan, CNN, "Macho vegans: The documentary that's changing the script on plant-based diets," 18 Dec. 2019 Watch faces with second hands lose the quick circler in always-on mode. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Apple Watch Series 5 Review: Always-On Is Always Great," 20 Sep. 2019 In addition, all second hand information that proved to be so inaccurate that there may not have even been somebody else, a leaker or spy, feeding it to him or her? Abby Ohlheiser, Washington Post, "Kamala Harris wants Trump suspended from Twitter for ‘harassment.' These 3 loopholes protect him.," 2 Oct. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'secondhand.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of secondhand


1654, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1795, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1759, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for secondhand

Time Traveler

The first known use of secondhand was in the 15th century

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Statistics for secondhand

Last Updated

5 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Secondhand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for secondhand


How to pronounce second hand (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of secondhand

: having had a previous owner
: buying or selling things that have already been owned or used
: not original : taken from someone who was not directly involved


sec·​ond·​hand | \ ˌse-kənd-ˈhand How to pronounce secondhand (audio) \

Kids Definition of secondhand

1 : not new : having had a previous owner a secondhand automobile
2 : selling used goods a secondhand shop

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