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 His teammate and fellow Alaskan, Ruby Lindquist formerly of Seward High, turned in a time of 10:36.40 in the steeplechase that ranks as the second best all-time in program history and was good enough for second place in the event Saturday. Anchorage Daily News, 20 May 2022 Colby, a senior, has Ohio’s second best discus throw this season at 185-2. cleveland, 19 May 2022 As a sophomore, Gage lit up the field with her sensational play, garnering 108 goals (second best in Ohio) and 80 ground balls. Robert Fenbers, cleveland, 6 Apr. 2022 And the second best actress Academy Award was given to Canadian Mary Pickford. Tim Gray, Variety, 21 Jan. 2022 The Copa America, the equivalent tournament in South America, gives $6.5 million to the champions and $3.5 million to the second best team. Alexander Onukwue, Quartz, 10 Jan. 2022 The Atlanta Hawks have the league's second best offensive rating, thanks to Trae Young. Matt Eppers, USA TODAY, 27 Jan. 2022 The value pack is currently the second best-selling Amazon product in the catnip toys category, with more than 8,500 five-star ratings. Nina Huang,, 18 Dec. 2021 Gavin’s twin brother Callum finished seventh in 4:13.47, his second best time indoors. Lori Riley,, 29 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near second-best

second base


second best

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Cite this Entry

“Second-best.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jul. 2022.

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