sec·​ond-rate ˌse-kən(d)-ˈrāt How to pronounce second-rate (audio)
: of second or inferior quality or value : mediocre
a second-rate restaurant
second-rateness noun
second-rater noun

Examples of second-rate in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to Charter, Disney had placed some of its best content exclusively on its streamers, leaving cable with second-rate content. Bypaolo Confino, Fortune, 11 Sep. 2023 The sing-song qualities of his music did not sit well with many music critics, who dismissed him as a second-rate talent with little to offer. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2 Sep. 2023 While Twitter’s DMs have set a benchmark for effortless speed, even rendering email second-rate for some, LinkedIn’s messaging interface remains tangled. Vivek Wadhwa, Fortune, 16 Aug. 2023 After all, the media companies are only going to spend so much for the rights to broadcast second-rate games. Jon Wilner | , oregonlive, 14 Aug. 2023 However, the thing that really bothers many parents like me who opt for medicated births is the idea that this kind of scenario is somehow second-rate. Marisa Cohen, Parents, 12 Aug. 2023 Daniel Rader Our third version of the story comes from Teddy, a manager of second-rate acts that included a bagpipe-playing whippet and Miss Mulatto and her 120 Pigeons, before meeting Frank Hardy. Terry Byrne,, 12 Aug. 2023 These fans understand that M.L.S. is a second-rate show, and that the real hot action is taking place overseas, in the élite leagues of Europe. Jody Rosen, The New Yorker, 23 July 2023 Frozen blueberries are especially handy to have around for drink recipes—and not just as a second-rate substitute for fresh produce. Ali Ramee, Southern Living, 2 July 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'second-rate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1669, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of second-rate was in 1669

Dictionary Entries Near second-rate

Cite this Entry

“Second-rate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


: of second or ordinary quality or value : mediocre

More from Merriam-Webster on second-rate

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