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
Related formssec·ond-string, adjectivesec·ond-string·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for second string

Contemporary Examples of second string

Historical Examples of second string

  • Driscolls firm for starting with a second-string line, but I dont like it.

    Full-Back Foster

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • Any second-string fellow that looks as if he was being held back?

    Quarter-Back Bates

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • I suppose Driscoll wants to bring him around for second-string man.

    Center Rush Rowland

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • Nor was it the second-string outfit of the Moguls that would come.

    Local Color

    Irvin S. Cobb

  • He took me from a second-string team and gave me a chance to make good on the Giants.

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