Definition of second noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈsekənd//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈsekənd//
    Exams and degrees
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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 metres in just over 11 seconds. For several seconds he did not reply. The light flashes every 5 seconds. The water flows at about 1.5 metres 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, move off in second. to change down from third to second
  7. 7[countable] a level of university degree at British universities. An upper second is a good degree and a lower second is average. compare first, third See related entries: Exams and degrees
  8. 8[countable] a person whose role is to help and support somebody else, for example in a boxing match or in a formal duel in the past
  9. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 3 late Middle English: from medieval Latin secunda (minuta) ‘second (minute)’, feminine (used as a noun) of secundus, referring to the “second” operation of dividing an hour by sixty. noun senses 4 to 8 Middle English: via Old French from Latin secundus ‘following, second’, from the base of sequi ‘follow’. The verb dates from the late 16th cent.Extra examples For a heart-stopping second he thought he had lost his keys. For a second I thought you were my mother. He got a good second in history. His goal in the dying seconds of the game secured Rangers a 3–2 victory. I hesitated for a second before speaking. I only saw the man for a split second as he ran past. I swam to the other shore in mere seconds. I was counting the seconds until the bell. I’ll be with you in a second. If he’d reacted a fraction of a second later, he would surely have died. It took a couple of seconds to realize what was going on. She had wasted a few precious seconds. She wanted to spend every second with him. Sunny Boy came a close second to the winner. The end of the game is only a matter of seconds away. The game was lost in the final seconds. The room seemed to grow hotter with each passing second. The seconds ticked by. The young German runner finished a creditable second. This will only take a second. Wait a second—this letter’s been sent to me by mistake. We only have a few seconds left. We were three points behind with only seconds left in the game. Within seconds he had disappeared from view. For several seconds he did not reply. Hang on a second while I find my keys. I’ll be finished with this in a couple of seconds. The light flashes every 5 seconds. The water flows at about 1.5 metres per second. They had finished in/​within seconds. Wait/​Hang on/​Just a minute/​moment/​second.Idioms
    just a minute/moment/second
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     (informal) used to ask somebody 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. 1  to wait for a short time Can you wait a second while I make a call?
    2. 2  used when you have just noticed or remembered something, or had a sudden idea Wait a minute—this isn't the right key.