Related topics: Numbers
sec‧ond1 S1 W1
the second person, thing, event etc is the one that comes after the first:
the Second World War
the second of August
a second year student
his second wife
Clinton's second term in office
the second half of the year
the second time in three days
the position in a competition or scale that comes after the one that is the best, most successful etc:
She won second prize.
They climbed to second place in the League.
second largest/most successful etc
Africa's second highest mountain
be second only to something (=used to emphasize that something is nearly the largest, most important etc)
The euro will have a circulation second only to that of the dollar.
another example of the same thing, or another in addition to the one you have:
We advertised for a second guitarist.
There was a second reason for his dismissal.
I asked the doctor for a second opinion (=when you ask another person to repeat an examination, test etc for you).
the second, then the fourth, then the sixth year etc:
The nurse comes every second day.
used to emphasize that in a group of similar things, there is too much of one particular thing:
Every second house seemed to be boarded up.
to be the best:
The quality of Britain's overseas aid programme is second to none.
help given to someone who has failed, in the hope that they will succeed this time:
I just want to give these kids a second chance.
to start having doubts about a decision you have made:
You're not having second thoughts, are you?
have second thoughts about
She'd had second thoughts about the whole project.
8 British English on second thought American English spoken
used to say that you have changed your mind about something:
I'll call her tomorrow - no, on second thought, I'll try now.
used to say that someone does not think or worry about something:
She dismissed the rumour without a second thought.
10 also without a second glance/look
to not look at something again, because you have not really noticed it or because it does not seem important:
No-one gave the woman in the grey uniform a second glance.
something that is second nature to you is something you have done so often that you do it almost without thinking:
Driving becomes second nature after a while.