Meaning of SECOND in English


I . *sec·ond

/ ˈsekənd; NAmE / determiner , ordinal number , adverb , noun , verb

—see also second (II)

■ determiner , ordinal number


happening or coming next after the first in a series of similar things or people; 2nd :

This is the second time it's happened.

Italy scored a second goal just after half-time.

the second of June / June 2nd

He was the second to arrive.

We have one child and are expecting our second in July.


next in order of importance, size, quality, etc. to one other person or thing :

Osaka is Japan's second-largest city.

Birmingham, the UK's second city

The spreadsheet application is second only to word processing in terms of popularity.

As a dancer, he is second to none (= nobody is a better dancer than he is) .


[ only before noun ] another; in addition to one that you already own or use :

They have a second home in Tuscany.

■ adverb


after one other person or thing in order or importance :

She came second in the marathon.

One of the smaller parties came a close second (= nearly won).

I agreed to speak second.

He is a writer first and a scientist second.

I came second (to) last (= the one before the last one) in the race.


used to introduce the second of a list of points you want to make in a speech or piece of writing

SYN secondly :

She did it first because she wanted to, and second because I asked her to.

■ noun


[ C ] ( symb ″ ) ( abbr. sec. ) a unit for measuring time. There are 60 seconds in one minute :

She can run 100 metres in just over 11 seconds.

For several seconds he did not reply.

The light flashes every 5 seconds .

The water flows at about 1.5 metres per second .


[ C ] (also informal sec ) a very short time

SYN moment :

I'll be with you in a second .

They had finished in / within seconds .

—see also split second


[ C ] ( symb ″ ) a unit for measuring angles. There are 60 seconds in one minute :

1° 6′ 10″ (= one degree, six minutes and ten seconds)


seconds [ pl. ] ( informal ) a second amount of the same food that you have just eaten :

Seconds, anybody?


[ C , usually pl. ] an item that is sold at a lower price than usual because it is not perfect


(also ˌsecond ˈgear ) [ U ] one of four or five positions of the gears in a vehicle :

When it's icy, move off in second .


[ C ] a level of university degree at British universities. An upper second is a good degree and a lower second is average.

—compare first noun (4), third noun (2)


[ C ] a person whose role is to help and support sb else, for example in a boxing match or in a formal duel in the past


see just adverb , wait verb

■ verb

[ vn ] to state officially at a meeting that you support another person's idea, suggestion, etc. so that it can be discussed and/or voted on :

Any proposal must be seconded by two other members of the committee.

( informal )

'Thank God that's finished.' 'I'll second that! (= I agree) '

—compare propose

II . se·cond

/ sɪˈkɒnd; NAmE -ˈkɑːnd/ verb

[ vn ] [ usually passive ] second sb (from sth) (to sth) ( especially BrE ) to send an employee to another department, office, etc. in order to do a different job for a short period of time :

Each year two teachers are seconded to industry for six months.

—see also second (I)

►  se·cond·ment ( BrE ) noun [ U , C ]:

They met while she was on secondment from the Foreign Office.



I . determiner and adverb verb and noun senses 4 to 8 Middle English : via Old French from Latin secundus following, second, from the base of sequi follow. The verb dates from the late 16th cent. noun senses 1 to 3 late Middle English : from medieval Latin secunda (minuta) second (minute), feminine (used as a noun) of secundus , referring to the “second” operation of dividing an hour by sixty.

II . early 19th cent.: from French en second in the second rank (of officers).

Oxford Advanced Learner's English Dictionary.      Оксфордский английский словарь для изучающик язык на продвинутом уровне.