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second hand

[sek-uh nd hand for 1; sek-uh nd hand for 2, 3] /ˈsɛk ənd ˌhænd for 1; ˈsɛk ənd ˈhænd for 2, 3/
the hand that indicates the seconds on a clock or watch.
an assistant or helper, as to a worker or foreman.
at second hand, from or through an intermediate source or means; secondhand:
She had the news at second hand.
Origin of second hand
late Middle English
1425-75 for def 3; 1750-60 for def 1; late Middle English Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for second-hand
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I do not think they find their way much into the second-hand shops.

    The Grand Old Man Richard B. Cook
  • Your mother's watch, which you had intended to take, had no second-hand.

    K Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • That is why we have no public libraries and no trade in second-hand books.

    City of Endless Night Milo Hastings
  • And several pieces of devotion have been put in, bought on purpose at second-hand.

    Clarissa, Volume 3 (of 9) Samuel Richardson
  • It would be loving him second-hand—not because of himself, seen and known by yourself.'

    Wilfrid Cumbermede George MacDonald
British Dictionary definitions for second-hand


previously owned or used
not from an original source or experience
dealing in or selling goods that are not new: a second-hand car dealer
from a source of previously owned or used goods: he prefers to buy second-hand
not directly: he got the news second-hand

second hand

a pointer on the face of a timepiece that indicates the seconds Compare hour hand, minute hand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for second-hand

also secondhand, late 15c., from second (adj.) + hand (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with second-hand

second hand

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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