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English definition of “second”

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). 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. 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. 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. happening only once out of every two possible times: We've decided to hold the conference every second year.

second

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). 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.

second

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. 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.

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 extra amount of food that is given after the first amount has been eaten: Would anyone like seconds of ice cream?

second noun (MEASUREMENT)

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

second noun (DAMAGED PRODUCT)

C2 [C] a product that is sold cheaply because it is damaged or not in perfect condition

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)

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 possible

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.

second

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)!"
seconder
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.
(Definition of second ordinal number, determiner, adverb, noun, verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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