second

A second may be one-sixtieth of a minute or the item after first. If you ask whether you're second in line, the hostess might reply, "Give me a second and I'll tell you."

Different meanings of the word second have evolved from the same background, which is the Latin word secundus, which means "next" or "following." Many of the meanings of second follow that idea of a linear "next," including "second base" (comes after "first base"). Back when duels were commonly fought, each dueler chose a second, a friend whose job it was to see that the fight followed the rules. You might have second thoughts about entering a duel, and rightfully so.

PRIMARY MEANINGS OF: second

1
adjnadv
coming next after the first in position in space or time or degree or magnitude
following the first in an ordering or series
in the second place
2
n
1/60 of a minute; the basic unit of time adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites
3
n
a 60th part of a minute of arc
4
n
the official attendant of a contestant in a duel or boxing match
5
nv
a speech seconding a motion
give support or one's approval to
6
n
merchandise that has imperfections; usually sold at a reduced price without the brand name
7
adj
a part or voice or instrument or orchestra section lower in pitch than or subordinate to the first
8
v
transfer an employee to a different, temporary assignment
FULL DEFINITIONS OF: second
1

adj coming next after the first in position in space or time or degree or magnitude

Synonyms:
2d, 2nd
ordinal
being or denoting a numerical order in a series

n following the first in an ordering or series

“he came in a close second
Types:
latter
the second of two or the second mentioned of two
Type of:
rank
relative status

n the fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is stationed near the second of the bases in the infield

Synonyms:
second base
Type of:
position
(in team sports) the role assigned to an individual player

n the gear that has the second lowest forward gear ratio in the gear box of a motor vehicle

“he had to shift down into second to make the hill”
Synonyms:
second gear
Type of:
gear, gear mechanism
a mechanism for transmitting motion for some specific purpose (as the steering gear of a vehicle)

adv in the second place

second, we must consider the economy”
Synonyms:
secondly
2

n 1/60 of a minute; the basic unit of time adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites

Synonyms:
s, sec
Types:
leap second
a second (as measured by an atomic clock) added to or subtracted from Greenwich Mean Time in order to compensate for slowing in the Earth's rotation
Type of:
time unit, unit of time
a unit for measuring time periods

n a particular point in time

Synonyms:
instant, minute, moment
Types:
show 9 types...
hide 9 types...
climax, culmination
the decisive moment in a novel or play
eleventh hour, last minute
the latest possible moment
moment of truth
a crucial moment on which much depends
moment of truth
the moment in a bullfight when the matador kills the bull
pinpoint
a very brief moment
time
a suitable moment
psychological moment
the most appropriate time for achieving a desired effect
high time
the latest possible moment
occasion
the time of a particular event
Type of:
point, point in time
an instant of time

n an indefinitely short time

Synonyms:
bit, minute, mo, moment
Types:
New York minute, blink of an eye, flash, heartbeat, instant, jiffy, split second, trice, twinkling, wink
a very short time (as the time it takes the eye to blink or the heart to beat)
Type of:
time
an indefinite period (usually marked by specific attributes or activities)
3

n a 60th part of a minute of arc

“the treasure is 2 minutes and 45 seconds south of here”
Synonyms:
arcsecond
Type of:
angular unit
a unit of measurement for angles
4

n the official attendant of a contestant in a duel or boxing match

Type of:
attendant, attender, tender
someone who waits on or tends to or attends to the needs of another
5

n a speech seconding a motion

“do I hear a second?”
Synonyms:
endorsement, indorsement, secondment
Type of:
agreement
the verbal act of agreeing

v give support or one's approval to

“I'll second that motion”
Synonyms:
back, endorse, indorse
back, endorse, indorse, plump for, plunk for, support
be behind; approve of
Type of:
back up, support
give moral or psychological support, aid, or courage to
6

n merchandise that has imperfections; usually sold at a reduced price without the brand name

Synonyms:
irregular
Type of:
merchandise, product, ware
commodities offered for sale
7

adj a part or voice or instrument or orchestra section lower in pitch than or subordinate to the first

second flute”
“the second violins”
Antonyms:
first
highest in pitch or chief among parts or voices or instruments or orchestra sections
8

v transfer an employee to a different, temporary assignment

“The officer was seconded for duty overseas”
Type of:
reassign, transfer
transfer somebody to a different position or location of work
WORD FAMILY
USAGE EXAMPLES