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 Trump tweeted a secondhand denial from Burnett, but the producer never commented. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Scott D. Pierce: After Jan. 6, is the producer of ‘The Apprentice’ sleeping well at night? Are any of us?," 17 Jan. 2021 Coupling a high-definition service with a basic, no-frills stereo amplifier, laptop, DAC, pair of secondhand speakers (and nice speaker wire) and quality headphones will noticeably improve your listening experience. Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times, "Lose the earbuds. Ditch the phone. How to get the most out of your music," 14 Jan. 2021 Named after India’s first education minister, the Maulana Azad Library houses hundreds of new and secondhand school books (acquired through donations and fundraising). Radhika Iyengar, The Christian Science Monitor, "For Indian teen who launched village library, it’s about more than books," 8 Jan. 2021 Small businesses and other secondhand shops can also get the iron-on patches free for a limited time to give to their customers. Ann-marie Alcántara, WSJ, "ThredUP, Secondhand Clothing Retailer, Creates a Logo for Thrifted Clothes," 9 Dec. 2020 The Thrift Logo is also the first-ever universal symbol for secondhand clothing. Eliza Huber,, "Christian Siriano Is Upcycling Never-Before-Seen Designs For His Next Collection," 9 Dec. 2020 Poshmark, an online marketplace for secondhand clothing, on Thursday filed for an initial public offering with U.S. regulators, hoping to ride a surge of interest in IPOs now that the company has become profitable. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Poshmark, newly profitable, files for IPO," 17 Dec. 2020 Thrilling’s mission is to support the viability and livelihood of small mom-and-pop vintage shops across the US, as well as help popularize vintage and secondhand shopping. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Beyoncé’s Stylist Zerina Akers and Thrilling Are Putting Black-Owned Vintage Shops Front and Center," 11 Dec. 2020 The social shopping app Poshmark promises women the chance to spin gold out of secondhand threads. Alden Wicker, Wired, "Get Rich Selling Used Fashion Online—or Cry Trying," 10 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the second hand ticks on toward New Year’s Eve and the dawn of another year, celebrations might seem like a muted afterthought amid a pandemic that is still playing out. Connie Foong, The Christian Science Monitor, "Good riddance to 2020? Not so fast.," 22 Dec. 2020 The Trump campaign requested a second hand recount after the election was certified. Joey Garrison, USA TODAY, "'Fantastic claims, half-truths, misinformation': Georgia official says Trump supporters misled," 30 Nov. 2020 Using a watch with a second hand, a stopwatch or an app on your smartphone, count the number of beats during 15 seconds. Star Tribune, "How to read a cat's vitals," 27 Nov. 2020 The only moving object in the room was the second hand on the clock by the bed; the only sound, the low hum of the ventilator. Carlos Valdez Lozano, Los Angeles Times, "His dear colleague died but had one last gift," 26 Nov. 2020 Now, the team travels beyond Kyiv to the likes of Ivano-Frankivsk and Chernivtsi on the hunt for second hand pieces and fabric to rework into suits. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Stylist Julie Pelipas Launches Bettter, the Answer to Chic Suiting," 12 Nov. 2020 The smells of Earth will always be our reference points; all this imaginary sniffing around the cosmos is very much perception at second hand. Harold Mcgee, WSJ, "What Does Outer Space Smell Like?," 24 Oct. 2020 The items accepted will be resold as second hand items, and anything that can't be sold will be recycled. Isabel Garcia, House Beautiful, "IKEA Wants to Buy Back Your Old Furniture," 14 Oct. 2020 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

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

22 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Secondhand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on secondhand

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