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English definition of “second”


ordinal number, determiner uk   /ˈsek.ənd/ us  
A1 immediately after the first and before any others: Is Brian her first or second child? This is the second time I've had flu this winter. Today is the second (of March).Ordinal numbers A1 the position in which a person finishes a race or competition if they finish immediately behind the winner: First prize is a fortnight in Barbados and second prize is a weekend in Rome. Jones took second place in the long jump.Scoring, winning and losing in sportWinning and defeatingLosing and being defeated B1 Second is used to show that only one thing is better, bigger, etc. than the thing mentioned: St Petersburg is Russia's second (biggest/largest) city. Iraq's oil reserves are second only to Saudi Arabia's.Ordinal numbers B1 another: She is often described as the second Marilyn Monroe. You really ought to make the most of the opportunity, because you won't get a second chance. Richard and Liz have a second home in France. Pay attention to what she's saying because she won't explain it a second time.Also, extra, and in addition happening only once out of every two possible times: We've decided to hold the conference every second year. Ordinal numbers


adverb uk   /ˈsek.ənd/ us  
B1 after the first and before any others: Robertson won the race and Cameron was/came/finished second. In this business, money comes first and principles come a very poor second (= they are much less important).Ordinal numbersScoring, winning and losing in sportWinning and defeatingLosing and being defeated B2 (also secondly) used to introduce the second thing in a list of things you want to say or write: There are two good reasons why we can't do it. First, we can't afford it, and second, we don't have time.Order and sequenceSimultaneous and consecutiveAlso, extra, and in addition


noun uk   /ˈsek.ənd/ us  

second noun (TIME)

A2 [C] (abbreviation sec., s) a short unit of time that is equal to a 60th of a minute: There are 60 seconds in a minute. These computers process millions of instructions per second. The new system can trace a phone call in a fraction of a second.Specific periods of time B1 [C] a very short period of time: "Come on, hurry up!" "I'll just/only be a second - I've got to lock the back door." Do you have a second, Paul? I'd like to have a word with you. It won't take a second (= it will be very quick). Wait a couple of/a few seconds before trying again.Short in timeTemporary

second noun (POSITION)

[S] the second person or thing to do or be something, or the second person or thing mentioned: This is the second of the four tests.Ordinal numbers seconds [plural] informal an extra amount of food that is given after the first amount has been eaten: Would anyone like seconds of ice cream?Food - general words

second noun (MEASUREMENT)

[C] specialized mathematics the smallest unit used for measuring an angle: There are 3,600 seconds in a degree.Describing angles, lines and orientations

second noun (DAMAGED PRODUCT)

C2 [C] a product that is sold cheaply because it is damaged or not in perfect conditionProducts and producersBuying and selling in general

second noun (HELPER)

[C] a person who takes care of someone who is fighting in a boxing competition or, in the past, in a duel (= organized fight)BoxingHelpers and accomplicesPeople who help or serve people professionally

second noun (QUALIFICATION)

[C] UK (also second-class degree) an undergraduate degree from a university in the UK and some other countries that is a good degree but not the best possibleMarks and results

second noun (GEAR)

[U] (also second gear) in a vehicle, the gear that combines power with limited speed and is used when increasing or reducing speed: You'll have to change (down/up) into second.The engine and engine partsEngines and motors


verb [T] uk   /ˈsek.ənd/ us  
to make a formal statement of support for a suggestion made by someone else during a meeting so that there can be a discussion or vote: The motion was proposed by the club's chairwoman and seconded by the secretary. "I could do with a drink." "I'll second that (= I agree with you)!"Backing, supporting and defendingDefending and protecting
noun [C] uk   /ˈsek.ən.dər/ us    /-dɚ/ specialized
There was no seconder for (= person who was willing to support) the motion so it could not be debated.Supporters, members and defendersBelievers and non-believers
(Definition of second ordinal number, determiner, adverb, noun, verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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