second-degree

1 of 2

adjective

sec·​ond-degree ˈse-kən(d)-di-ˈgrē How to pronounce second-degree (audio)
-kᵊŋ-
1
US, of a crime : of a level of seriousness that is less than first degree : warranting punishment but not the most severe punishment
second-degree assault/murder
2
: causing or characterized by a moderate level of injury
a second-degree concussion
see also second-degree burn

second degree

2 of 2

noun

US
: the level of a crime that is less than first degree and warrants less severe punishment
He was charged with assault in the second degree.

Word History

First Known Use

Adjective

1858, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1682, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of second-degree was in 1682

Dictionary Entries Near second-degree

second degree

second-degree

second-degree burn

Cite this Entry

“Second-degree.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/second-degree. Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Medical Definition

second-degree

adjective
: causing or characterized by a moderate level of injury
a second-degree ankle sprain
see also second-degree burn compare first-degree, third-degree

Legal Definition

second degree

noun
sec·​ond degree
: the grade given to the second most serious forms of crimes
assault in the second degree
second-degree adjective
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