second Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “second” in the English Dictionary

"second" in British English

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secondordinal number, determiner

uk   us   /ˈsek.ənd/
A1 immediately after the first and before any ​others: Is Carla her first or second ​child? This is the second ​time I've had ​flu this ​winter. Today is the second (ofMarch).A1 the ​position in which a ​personfinishes a ​race or ​competition if they ​finishimmediately behind the ​winner: First ​prize is two ​weeks in Barbados and second prize is a ​weekend in Rome. Jones took second place in the ​longjump.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 ​oilreserves are second only to Saudi Arabia's.B1 another: She is often ​described as a second Marilyn Monroe. You really should make the most of the ​opportunity, because you won't get a second chance. Richard and Liz have a second home in the ​mountains. Pay ​attention to what she's saying because she won't ​explain it a second time. happening only ​once out of every two ​possibletimes: We've ​decided to ​hold the ​conference every second ​year.

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uk   us   /ˈsek.ənd/
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).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.


uk   us   /ˈsek.ənd/
  • second noun (TIME)

A2 [C] (abbreviation sec., s) a ​shortunit of ​time that is ​equal to a 60th of a ​minute: There are 60 seconds in a ​minute. These ​computersprocess millions of ​instructions per second. The new ​system can ​trace a ​phonecall in a fraction of a second.B1 [C] a very ​shortperiod of ​time: "Come on, ​hurry up!" "I'll just/only be a second - I need to ​close the ​window." Do you have a second, Paul? I need to ​talk to you. It won't take a second (= it will be very ​quick). Wait a ​couple of/a few seconds before ​trying again.the second (that) as ​soon as : The second I ​saw him, I ​knew he was going to be a ​star.

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  • 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.seconds [plural] informal an ​extraamount of ​food that is given after the first ​amount has been ​eaten: Would anyone like seconds oficecream?
  • second noun (MEASUREMENT)

[C] specialized mathematics the ​smallestunit used for ​measuring an ​angle: There are 3,600 seconds in a ​degree.
  • second noun (DAMAGED PRODUCT)

C2 [C] a ​product that is ​soldcheaply because it is ​damaged or not in ​perfectcondition
  • second noun (GEAR)

[U] (also second gear) in a ​vehicle, the gear that ​combinespower with ​limitedspeed and is used when ​increasing or ​reducingspeed: You'll have to change (down/up) into second.
  • second noun (QUALIFICATION)

[C] UK (also second-class degree) an undergraduatedegree from a ​university in the UK and some other ​countries that is a good ​degree but not the ​bestpossible
  • second noun (BASEBALL)

[C usually singular] informal →  second base

secondverb [T]

uk   us   /ˈsek.ənd/
to make a ​formalstatement 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 use a ​drink." "I'll second that (= I ​agree with you)!"
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.

secondverb [T]

uk   /sɪˈkɒnd/  us   /-ˈkɑːnd/ UK
to ​send an ​employee to ​worksomewhereelsetemporarily, either to ​increase the ​number of ​workers or to ​replace other ​workers, or to ​exchangeexperience or ​skills: During the ​dispute, many ​policeofficers were seconded fromtrafficduty to the ​prisonservice.
noun [C or U] uk   us   /-mənt/ UK
His ​involvement with the ​projectbegan when he was on (a) secondment fromNASA to the ​European Space Agency.
(Definition of second from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"second" in American English

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secondadjective, adverb, noun [C]

 us   /ˈsek·ənd/
  • second adjective, adverb, noun [C] (POSITION)

(a ​person or thing) coming ​immediately after the first: He ​missed only 2 of 11 ​shots in the second ​half. [C] Rent is ​due the second of every ​month.
adverb [not gradable]  us   /ˈsek·ənd·li/ (also second)
First, what does it ​cost? And secondly, who’s it for?

secondnoun [C]

 us   /ˈsek·ənd/ (short form sec)
  • second noun [C] (TIME)

any of the 60 ​parts that a ​minute is ​divided into: She ​won by 22 seconds. A second is also any ​shortperiod of ​time: I’ll be back in a second.

secondverb [T]

 us   /ˈsek·ənd/
  • second verb [T] (SUPPORT)

to make a ​formalstatement of ​support for a ​suggestion made by someone ​else during a ​meeting in ​order to ​allow a ​discussion or ​vote: I second the ​motion to ​adjourn.
(Definition of second from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"second" in Business English

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secondnoun [C, usually plural]

uk   /ˈsekənd/
COMMERCE a ​product that is ​sold at a ​lowerprice than usual because it is ​damaged or not in perfect ​condition: Many ​goods in ​sales are seconds.

secondverb [T]

/sɪˈkɒnd/ HR, WORKPLACE to ​send an ​employee to ​work somewhere else temporarily, either to ​increase the ​number of ​workers there, to ​replace another ​worker, or to ​exchangeexperiences or ​skills: be seconded to sth She was seconded to our ​department five months ago.
See also
/ˈsekənd/ MEETINGS to make a ​formalstatement of ​support for a suggestion made by someone else during a ​meeting so that there can be a discussion or ​vote: second a motion The ​motion was ​proposed by the ​secretary and seconded by the ​treasurer.
(Definition of second from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“second” in Business English

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