• synonyms

second hand

[sek-uh nd hand for 1; sek-uh nd hand for 2, 3]
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  1. the hand that indicates the seconds on a clock or watch.
  2. an assistant or helper, as to a worker or foreman.
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  1. at second hand, from or through an intermediate source or means; secondhand: She had the news at second hand.
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Origin of second hand

1425–75 for def 3; 1750–60 for def 1; late Middle English
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for second-hand

dependent, subsidiary, resultant, auxiliary, subordinate, consequent, developed, eventual, indirect, proximate, subsequent, vicarious, derived, derivate, resulting, second-hand, secondhand, used, worn, reach-me-down

Examples from the Web for second-hand

Contemporary Examples of second-hand

Historical Examples of second-hand

  • 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.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

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

  • 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


  1. previously owned or used
  2. not from an original source or experience
  3. dealing in or selling goods that are not newa second-hand car dealer
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  1. from a source of previously owned or used goodshe prefers to buy second-hand
  2. not directlyhe got the news second-hand
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second hand

  1. a pointer on the face of a timepiece that indicates the secondsCompare hour hand, minute hand
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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-hand


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with second-hand

second hand

see at second hand.

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