[sek-uh nd-ges]

verb (used with object)

to use hindsight in criticizing or correcting.
to predict (something) or outguess (someone): We must try to second-guess what he'll do next.

Origin of second-guess

First recorded in 1945–50
Related formssec·ond-guess·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

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Contemporary Examples of second-guess

British Dictionary definitions for second-guess


verb informal

to criticize or evaluate with hindsight
to attempt to anticipate or predict (a person or thing)
Derived Formssecond-guesser, noun
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

Word Origin and History for second-guess

1941, back-formation from second-guesser (1937), American English, originally baseball slang for a fan who loudly questions decisions by players, managers, etc.; perhaps from guesser in the baseball slang sense of "umpire."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper