General English

General Science

  • noun a base SI unit of measurement of time, equal to one sixtieth of a minute
  • noun a unit of measurement of the circumference of a circle, equal to one sixtieth of a degree


  • verb to lend a member of staff to another company, organisation or department for a fixed period of time


  • A piece of secondary quality or one not meeting specified dimensions.
  • A unit measure of time.


  • The fundamental SI unit of time. One second is currently defined as 9,192,631,770 oscillations of a cesium-133 atom at its natural resonance frequency. Its abbreviation is s, or sec.
  • A unit of angular measure equal to 1/60 arcminute, or 1/3600 degree. Its symbol is'. Also called arcsecond.
  • symbols

Information & Library Science

  • noun something that is counted as number two in a series
  • verb to support a person or proposal


  • verb the thing which comes after the first
    to be the first person to support a proposal put forward by someone else
    to lend a member of staff to another company, organisation or department for a fixed period of time


  • noun a unit of time, corresponding to a sixtieth part of one minute
  • verb to post a serviceperson to another arm or service or even to the armed forces of a foreign state, usually to provide specialist expertise or training

Origin & History of “second”

Latin secundus originally meant ‘following’ – it was derived from sequī ‘follow’, source of English sequence – and only secondarily came to be used as the ordinal version of ‘two’. English acquired it via Old French second, employing it to take over part of the role of other, which until then had denoted ‘second’ as well as ‘other’. Its noun use for ‘sixtieth of a minute’, first recorded in English in the 14th century, comes from medieval Latin secunda minuta, literally ‘second minute’ – a minute was a ‘sixtieth part’, and so a ‘second minute’ was a ‘sixtieth of a sixtieth’. Latin secundus was also used for ‘favourable’, and in this sense the verb secundāre was formed from it, meaning ‘favour’. English acquired it via French seconder as second ‘support’ (16th c.). (The differently pronounced second ‘transfer to a different job’ (19th c.) comes from the French phrase en second ‘in second rank’.).