take second place

take second place

1. Literally, to finish behind one other person in a competition, contest, or election. I know you're disappointed, but you still took second place—that's pretty darn good for a statewide tournament!
2. By extension, to be considered less important or exceptional than someone or something else. I really love writing, but it had to take second place to my day job once we had kids. Despite the huge marketing push, the new smartphone has taken second place to the in the eyes of consumers.
See also: place, second, take

take second place

COMMON If one thing or person takes second place to another, the first thing or person is considered to be less important and is given less attention than the second. My personal life has had to take second place to my career. She was married to Ben Nicholson for years, and nobody ever saw her as taking second place.
See also: place, second, take
References in periodicals archive ?
The Men's section saw Jonathon Gatley take second place with club colleague, Mike Reason third.
Angela Armstrong from Carlisle moved through strongly to take second place ahead of marathon specialist Heather Mackay.
QUARTZ HILL - A three-foot rocket made of plastic soda bottles and a wooden harp made with fishing line and copper pipes were two of the inventions used by students at Joe Walker Middle School to take second place at the 19th annual Los Angeles County Science Olympiad.
Gibson dropped his rival approaching the 3km stage with Shildon's Khalil Thompson moving through in the closing stages to take second place ahead of Perrins.
Regardless of the weather, the SCTC boys ran one of their best races to take second place in the nation and come home with silver medals.
In the final moments of the National Science Bowl, team members from North Hollywood High School knew Monday they were destined to take second place, but they kept trying to win anyway.