Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: CHRONOLOGY

Sense: 1-3, 5
Date: 1300-1400
Language: Medieval Latin
Origin: secunda, from secunda pars minuta 'second small part, one sixtieth of a minute', from Latin secundus; SECOND2

second

2 noun
     
second2 S1 W2
1 [countable]TMC a unit for measuring time. There are 60 seconds in a minute:
Hold your breath for six seconds.
The operation takes only 30 seconds.
Ultrasonic waves travel at around 300 metres per second.
within seconds (=after only a few seconds)
Within seconds, Bev called back.
2 [countable] a very short period of time:
I'll be back in a second.
Just a second (=wait a moment), I'll come and help.
At least 30 shots were fired in a matter of seconds (=in a very short time).
split second
3

(at) any second (now)

used to say that something will or may happen extremely soon:
He should be here any second.
4

seconds

[plural]
a) informalDF another serving of food, after you have eaten your first serving
b) clothes or other goods that are cheaper than usual because they are not perfect second hand1
5 [countable] technical one of the sixty parts into which a minute of an angle is divided. It can be shown as a symbol after a number. For example, 78º 52' 11' means 78 degrees 52 minutes 11 seconds.
6 [countable] someone who helps someone in a fight, especially in boxing or, in the past, a duel
7 [uncountable] American English informal second base
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