sec·​ond-best | \ ˌse-kən(d)-ˈbest How to pronounce second-best (audio) , -kᵊŋ- \

Definition of second-best

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: next to the best

second best


Definition of second best (Entry 2 of 3)

: one that is below or after the best

second best


Definition of second best (Entry 3 of 3)

: in second place

Examples of second-best in a Sentence

Noun He won't settle for second best.
Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Jones has been Louisville’s second best scorer, averaging 14.2 points (12th in the ACC). Cameron Teague Robinson, The Courier-Journal, "How Louisville has sustained its success by turning role players into cornerstones," 30 Jan. 2020 As domestic box office revenue ended on a down note in 2019 at $11.4 billion — falling 4 percent year-over-year but also marking the second best on record — movie attendance also took a tumble in North America. Erik Hayden, The Hollywood Reporter, "Domestic Box Office Attendance Falls 4.6 Percent in 2019," 18 Jan. 2020 And Wii Fit, which was never a top seller by year was the second best selling game of that decade. Chris Morris, Fortune, "Here are the best selling video games of the past 25 years," 17 Jan. 2020 Per Elias Sports Bureau, Dallas' +67 point differential is the second best in NFL history for a team with a losing record after 13 games. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "32 things we learned from Week 14 of the 2019 NFL season," 9 Dec. 2019 Washington’s penalty kill is second best in the league as the Capitals have and 85.7 percent success rate when down a man., "Capitals thumbnails," 22 Dec. 2019 This is Marganore’s second best biopharma CEO nomination. Adam Feuerstein, STAT, "Here are the nominees for best biopharma CEO of 2019. Vote for your favorite!," 16 Dec. 2019 Tampa Bay boasts the second best run-stuffing unit in the league, conceding just 76.2 yards per game on the ground. Jim Ayello, Indianapolis Star, "Colts RB Marlon Mack ‘has a chance’ to play Sunday vs. Tampa Bay," 4 Dec. 2019 Leftovers Day, the second best food holiday of the year. Alison Roman, Bon Appétit, "Tuck Your Thanksgiving Leftovers into a Cozy Turkey Pot Pie," 26 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'second-best.' 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 second-best


14th century, in the meaning defined above


1647, in the meaning defined above


1777, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of second-best was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Second-best.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for second-best

second best


English Language Learners Definition of second best

: something that is good but not the best

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with second-best

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