Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

second - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

number second pronunciation in American English /ˈsekənd/
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  1. 1
    in the place or position counted as number two

    This is the second program in a series on rural health.

    His horse finished second in the Kentucky Derby.

    second largest/biggest/most important etc.:

    Goteborg is Sweden’s second largest city.

  2. 2
    in addition to the first one

    The bookcase needs a second coat of paint.

  3. 3
    next in quality or importance after someone or something that is the best or most important

    She was our second choice for the job.

    Gloria played second violin in the school orchestra.

    second only to:

    In terms of career points, he’s second only to Jabbar.

Open Dictionary


the practice of giving birth in the presence of several friends and relatives

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play