American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


SEC'OND, adjective [L. secundus; L. sequor, to follow. See Seek.]

1. That immediately follows the first; the mext following the first in order of place or time; the ordinal of two. Take the second book from the shelf. Enter the second house.

And he slept and dreamed the second time. Gen. 41.

2. Next in value, power, excellence, dignity or rank; inferior. The silks of China are second to none. Lord Chatham was second to none in eloquence. Dr. Johnson was second to none in itellecual powers, but second to many in research and erudition.

Second terms, in algebra, those where the unknown quantity has a degree of power less than it has in the term where it is raised to the highest.

At second-hand, in the sicond place of order; not in first place, orby or from the first; by transmission; not primarily; not originally; as a report received at second hand.

In imitation of preachers at second hand, I shall transcribe from Bruyere a piece of raillery. Tatler.

SEC'OND, noun

1. One who attends another in a duel, to aid him, mark out the ground or destance, and see that all proceedings between the parties are fair.

2. One that supports or maintains another; that which supports

Being sure enough of seconds after the first onset. Wotton.

3. The sixtieth part of a minute or of a degree, that is, the second minute or small division next to the hour. Sound moves above 1140 English feet in a second.

4. In music, an interval of a conjoint degree, being the difference between any sound and the next nearest sound above ar below it.

SEC'OND, verb transitive [L. secundo.]

1. To follow in the next place.

Sin is seconded with sin. [Little Used.] South.

2. To support; to lend aid to the attempt of another; to assist' to forward; to promote; to encourage; to act as the maintainer.

We have supplies to second our attempt. Shak.

The attempts of Austria to circumscribe the conquests of Buonaparte, were seconded by Russia. Anon.

In God's, one single can its end produce,

Yet serves second too some other use. Pope.

3. In legislation, to support, as a motion or the mover. We say, to second a motion or proposition, or to second the mover.