American English

Definition of second noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] (symbol ) (abbreviation sec.) a unit for measuring time. There are 60 seconds in one minute She can run 100 meters in just over 11 seconds. For several seconds he did not reply. The light flashes every 5 seconds. The water flows at about 3 feet per second.
  2. 2[countable] (informal sec) a very short time synonym moment I'll be with you in a second. They had finished in/within seconds. He scored again in the dying seconds (= the last few seconds) of the game. see also split second
  3. 3[countable] (symbol ) a unit for measuring angles. There are 60 seconds in one minute 1° 6′ 10″ (= one degree, six minutes, and ten seconds)
  4. 4seconds [plural] (informal) a second amount of the same food that you have just eaten Seconds, anybody?
  5. 5[countable, usually plural] an item that is sold at a lower price than usual because it is not perfect
  6. 6(also second gear) [uncountable] one of four or five positions of the gears in a vehicle When it's icy, start off in second. to change down from third to second
  7. 7[countable] a person whose role is to help and support someone else, for example in a boxing match or in a formal duel in the past
  8. Idioms
    just a minute/moment/second (informal)
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    used to ask someone to wait for a short time “Is Mr. Burns available?” “Just a second, please, I'll check.”
      wait a minute/moment/second
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    1. 1to wait for a short time Can you wait a second while I make a call?
    2. 2used when you have just noticed or remembered something, or had a sudden idea Wait a minute — this isn't the right key.