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

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 Ask everyone to launder the goods first—and remind them to donate only clothing of a quality that a secondhand store would purchase; no ratty stuff. Outside Online, 3 Dec. 2021 First is the changing attitude towards secondhand goods. Elise Taylor, Vogue, 17 Nov. 2021 The facility upgrade also allows for Rent The Runway to jump into the growing market of secondhand goods. Steven Bertoni, Forbes, 4 June 2021 Etsy is placing a large bid on the booming secondhand goods market. Francesca Fontana, WSJ, 4 June 2021 Part of what sparked his return was seeing his sister selling secondhand designer goods online. Whitney Bauck,, 27 May 2021 When a new device is sent out, the subscriber sends their old device back to be refurbished and sold on the secondhand market. Kelly Pigeon, Forbes, 6 Dec. 2021 ThredUp has projected that the secondhand market will double in the next 5 years to reach $77 billion by 2025. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 29 Nov. 2021 The initial buzz carried over to the secondhand market. Sandra Upson, Wired, 11 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Apparently, Stephanopoulos heard the allegations second hand. Robert Zafft, Forbes, 28 Dec. 2021 Featuring the Aspen tree leaf on the second hand and high shine brilliant titanium, a nod to Aspen’s late 19th century heritage as a silver mining town, each timepiece is stamped with its number on the back along with the 75-year commemorative logo. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, 20 Dec. 2021 To no surprise, many of the second hand styles from Rogers and Santiago’s thredUP edit are already en route to new owners, but there’s still plenty more to shop from it – some of which comes directly from the costume designers’ own set closet. Jamila Stewart, Essence, 20 Dec. 2021 Electric cars are more expensive than fossil fuel ones for the time being, and a huge number of car sales are second hand. James Morris, Forbes, 9 Oct. 2021 Interface elements in the upper left of the screen are only accessible through uncomfortable contortions, secret OS features or by using your second hand. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 The worlds of fashion and second hand are not separate on the outside, just different on every other level. Felicity Carter, Forbes, 6 Oct. 2021 Likewise, the yellow and black loop on the second hand is a reference to the seats’ pull handles. Paige Reddinger, Robb Report, 23 July 2021 When the push piece at 2:00 is activated, the split-second hand stops while the sweep-second hand continues running. Roberta Naas, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near secondhand



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Statistics for secondhand

Last Updated

22 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Secondhand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for secondhand



English Language Learners Definition of secondhand

: having had a previous owner : used
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on secondhand

Nglish: Translation of secondhand for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of secondhand for Arabic Speakers


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