[ sek-uhnd-hand ]
/ ˈsɛk əndˈhænd /
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not directly known or experienced; obtained from others or from books: Most of our knowledge is secondhand.
previously used or owned: secondhand clothes.
dealing in previously used goods: a secondhand bookseller.


after another user or owner: He bought it secondhand.
indirectly; at second hand: He heard the news secondhand.



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On the farm, the feed for chicks is significantly different from the roosters’; ______ not even comparable.

Origin of secondhand

First recorded in 1645–55; second1 + hand
sec·ond·hand·ed·ness, noun

Definition for secondhand (2 of 2)

second hand
[ sek-uhnd -hand for 1; sek-uhnd -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.

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. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for secondhand (1 of 2)

second hand


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

British Dictionary definitions for secondhand (2 of 2)



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
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

Idioms and Phrases with secondhand

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.
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