(1)   Having the second highest gear ratio
"Second gear"
(2)   Coming next after first
"A second chance"
"The second vice president"
(3)   A part or voice or instrument or orchestra section lower in pitch than or subordinate to the first
"Second flute"
"The second violins"
(4)   Coming next after the first in position in space or time or degree or magnitude


(5)   In the second place
"Second, we must consider the economy"


(6)   The fielding position of the player on a baseball team who is stationed near the second of the bases in the infield
(7)   Merchandise that has imperfections; usually sold at a reduced price without the brand name
(8)   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"
(9)   A speech seconding a motion
"Do I hear a second?"
(10)   The official attendant of a contestant in a duel or boxing match
(11)   A 60th part of a minute of arc
"The treasure is 2 minutes and 45 seconds south of here"
(12)   Following the first in an ordering or series
"He came in a close second"
(13)   1/60 of a minute; the basic unit of time adopted under the Systeme International d'Unites
(14)   A particular point in time
"The moment he arrived the party began"
(15)   An indefinitely short time
"Wait just a moment"
"It only takes a minute"
"In just a bit"


(16)   Transfer an employee to a different, temporary assignment
"The officer was seconded for duty overseas"
(17)   Give support or one's approval to
"I'll second that motion"
"I can't back this plan"
"Endorse a new project"

Etymology 1

From , from , from root of , from


  1. The ordinal number corresponding to the cardinal number two.
  2. Number-two; following immediately after the first one.
    He lives on Second Street.
    The second book in "The Lord of the Rings" series is called "The Two Towers".
  3. That which comes after the first.
    You take the first one, and I'll have the second.


  1. A manufactured item that, though still usable, fails to meet quality control standards.
    They were discounted because they contained blemishes, nicks or were otherwise factory seconds.
  2. An additional helping of food.
    That was good barbecue. I hope I can get seconds.
  3. Another chance to achieve what should have been done the first time, usually indicating success this time around. (See second-guess.)
  4. The interval between two adjacent notes in a diatonic scale (either or both of them may be raised or lowered from the basic scale via any type of accidental).
  5. The second gear of an engine.
  6. Second base.

Etymology 2

From , from , short for

Alternative forms

s, sec; s (SI and non-scientific usage), sec (in non-scientific usage only) arcsec, "


  1. The SI unit of time, defined as the duration of 9,192,631,770 periods of radiation corresponding to the transition between two hyperfine levels of caesium-133 in a ground state at a temperature of absolute zero and at rest; one-sixtieth of a minute.
  2. A unit of angle equal to one-sixtieth of a minute of arc or one part in 3600 of a degree.
  3. A short, indeterminate amount of time.
    I'll be there in a second.

Etymology 3

From , from


  1. Transfer temporarily to alternative employment.
    • 1998Paul Leonard, Dreamstone Moon, ch 9
      Daniel had still been surprised, however, to find the lab area deserted, all the scientists apparently seconded by Cleomides's military friends.
  2. To assist.
  3. To agree as a second person to (a proposal), usually to reach a necessary quorum of two.
    I second the motion.


  1. The attendant of a contestant in a duel or boxing match, who must be ready to take over if the contestant drops out. In the case of a duel, the seconds may also fight each other at 90° to the other contestants.
  2. One who agrees in addition, or such a motion, as required in certain meetings to pass judgement etc.
    If we want the motion to pass, we will need a second.