second best

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second best

Someone or something that is inferior to someone or something else. Even though I'd spent weeks working on my project for the science fair, I still came off second best.
See also: second

second best

Also, second class. Next after the first in rank or quality, inferior to the best, as in We aren't satisfied with being second best in sales, or This hotel is obviously second class. The first term dates from the first half of the 1400s, the variant from about 1800. Also see come off, def. 2; second class.
See also: second

second class

1. Inferior; see second best.
2. Travel accommodations ranking below the highest or first class, as in Traveling second class on European trains is not only cheaper but gives you more contact with local people . [c. 1840]
3. In the United States and Canada, a category of mail consisting of periodicals and newspapers. [c. 1870]
4. second-class citizen. An individual regarded or treated as inferior to others in status or rights, an underprivileged person. For example, In many countries women still are considered second-class citizens. This term uses second class in the sense of "inferior." [c. 1940]
See also: class, second
References in periodicals archive ?
As a result, the Tory party's 14-pint skinhead has unwittingly become the BNP's second-best recruiting sergeant.
14 in the 300hurdles, the second-best time in the state this year.
The club, of which he had been a member, consisted of second-best kids who started out playing pranks that eventually spun dangerously out of control.
Indexed interest, if any, is calculated using 75 percent of the return of the best performing index after adjustment for the participation rate, plus 25 percent of the return of the second-best performing index after adjustment for participation rate.
Also: Club America hired Luis Fernando Tena, who guided Jaguares to the second-best Clausura regular-season record, as its head coach.
Every stroke of a razor is an assault to your face, potentially leaving your second-best asset looking like the victim of a cat fight.
Even with the variations, the vast majority of states set records for home sales in 2004 and most of the rest had their second-best year," he said.
His 67 at Porter Ranch Country Club is the second-best score.
The Giants had the second-best record in baseball that season, eight games better than the eventual World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays, and nine better than the NL champion Phillies.