second string


Sports. the squad of players available either individually or as a team to replace or relieve those who start a game.
a secondary position, status, or group, as in a level of corporate management.

Origin of second string

1635–45 in sense “backup, resort,” alluding to a second bowstring; 1860–65, applied to racehorses; 1950–55, to sports teams

OTHER WORDS FROM second string

sec·ond-string, adjectivesec·ond-string·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for second string

British Dictionary definitions for second string

second string


mainly British an alternative course of action, etc, intended to come into use should the first fail (esp in the phrase a second string to one's bow)
a substitute or reserve player or team

adjective second-string mainly US and Canadian

  1. being a substitute player
  2. being the second-ranked player of a team in an individual sport
second-rate or inferior
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