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Origin of second-rate

First recorded in 1660–70
Related formssec·ond-rate·ness, nounsec·ond·rat·er, noun

Synonyms for second-rate

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for second-rate


  1. not of the highest quality; mediocre
  2. second in importance, etc
Derived Formssecond-rater, 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-rate

1660s, originally of ships; see rate (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper