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 Researchers from Oregon State University honed in on surface lead concentrations more than a decade ago, finding high levels of the element in everyday secondhand items like a wine glass and a casserole dish. Brittany Anas, House Beautiful, 9 Aug. 2021 Data from thredUP suggests that the secondhand fashion market, including apps like Poshmark and Depop, will hit $64 billion in the next five years. Jennifer Barton, Wired, 18 May 2021 Thrifting — shopping for secondhand clothing and accessories — is a budget-friendly way to create a distinctive personal style., 26 Aug. 2021 About 42% of Gen Z shoppers purchased secondhand fashion in 2020, according to GlobalData PLC, which prepared the research for thredUP. Charity L. Scott, WSJ, 24 Aug. 2021 Those measures are secondhand, however, and editors say there’s no real substitute for having a reporter on hand as an eyewitness. Washington Post, 21 Aug. 2021 His 2000 book suggesting that the dangers of secondhand tobacco smoke have been exaggerated puts his views outside the scientific consensus. James Rainey, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2021 Karen Hoskin spent one May weekend in Crested Butte loading secondhand furniture into her Toyota pickup. Sarah Matusek, The Christian Science Monitor, 10 Aug. 2021 In short, savvy secondhand shoppers should always be mindful of what products may contain lead and take extra precautions in handling the hazardous substance. Brittany Anas, House Beautiful, 9 Aug. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun 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 On the other hand, the second hand market is growing rapidly for apparel and footwear given the ease of use of digital platforms. George Anderson, Forbes, 21 Apr. 2021 Crucially, this should also mean second hand iPhones retain their value significantly longer. Gordon Kelly, Forbes, 10 June 2021 The group launched Afound, an online marketplace for unsold, out of seasons clothes, and has bought a majority shareholding in Sellpy, a second hand clothing marketplace. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 6 May 2021 PVH Weems developed a watch with a second hand that could be set exactly to radio time signal broadcasts, which the U.S. Navy started in 1904, reducing errors. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, 25 Apr. 2021 But in some cases, extreme stress experienced by the parents could be passed on to children second hand. Gabriel A. Silva, Forbes, 5 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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Learn More About secondhand

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



second hand

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Statistics for secondhand

Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Secondhand.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Oct. 2021.

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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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