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Definition of “second” - English Dictionary

"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 short period of time: I’ll be back in a second.

secondverb [T]

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

to make a formal statement 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 British English

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secondordinal number, determiner

uk   /ˈsek.ənd/ 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 (of March).
A1 the position in which a person finishes a race or competition if they finish immediately behind the winner: First prize is two weeks 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 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 possible times: We've decided to hold the conference every second year.

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uk   /ˈsek.ənd/ 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   /ˈsek.ənd/ us   /ˈsek.ənd/
  • 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 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 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 (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 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 (BASEBALL)

[C usually singular] informal →  second base

secondverb [T]

uk   /ˈsek.ənd/ us   /ˈsek.ənd/
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 use a drink." "I'll second that (= I agree with you)!"
noun [C] uk   /ˈsek.ən.dər/ us   /ˈsek.ən.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   /səˈkɑːnd/ UK
(Definition of second from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © 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 lower price 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 exchange experiences or skills: be seconded to sth She was seconded to our department five months ago.
See also
/ˈsekənd/ MEETINGS 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: 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

Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
Avoiding common errors with the word enough.
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May 25, 2016
by Liz Walter Enough is a very common word, but it is easy to make mistakes with it. You need to be careful about its position in a sentence, and the prepositions or verb patterns that come after it. I’ll start with the position of enough in the sentence. When we use it with a noun,

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