Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

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
     
Related topics: Chronology
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

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary