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.

Nearby words

  1. second estate,
  2. second fiddle,
  3. second floor,
  4. second generation,
  5. second growth,
  6. second heart sound,
  7. second home,
  8. second intention,
  9. second international,
  10. second language


    at second hand, from or through an intermediate source or means; secondhand: She had the news at second hand.

Origin of second hand

1425–75 for def 3; 1750–60 for def 1; late Middle English Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for second-hand

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 newa second-hand car dealer


from a source of previously owned or used goodshe prefers to buy second-hand
not directlyhe got the news second-hand

second hand


a pointer on the face of a timepiece that indicates the secondsCompare 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

Word Origin and History for second-hand



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with second-hand

second hand

see at second hand.

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