American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To criticize or correct after an outcome is known.
- v. To outguess.
- v. To predict or anticipate: "She can second-guess indictments” ( Scott Turow).
- v. To criticize a decision after its outcome is known.
- v. idiomatic To attempt to predict or anticipate.
- v. idiomatic, US to vet or evaluate; to criticize or correct, often by hindsight, by presuming to have a better idea, method, etc.
- v. attempt to anticipate or predict
- v. evaluate or criticize with hindsight
“But I think an even better idea is to get rid of the save altogether, that way we can all be shocked and appalled, but nobody has to second-guess a decision or make Casey feel like crap that he's still there and that perhaps the best vocalist in the competition has gone home.”
“Knicks team president Donnie Walsh said last summer he will "second-guess myself forever " on the deal.”
“Alone, you can second-guess yourself to distraction.”
“He has been rewriting Plus's listing rules and trying to second-guess the European market infrastructure regulation, MiFID II and U.K. regulatory changes.”
“He worried that teammates would second-guess his desire to play but ultimately told doctors of lingering neck pain.”
“Worse, we may acknowledge them but then second-guess and quickly bury them.”
“I often second-guess my phrasing, choice of content, I ask myself if I'm lacking necessary description in one area, am I going on for too long in another, am I even making sense, do I even have a point?”
“It was only Douglas and his opinion of Jason that gave her pause and made her second-guess her decision to bring him.”
“The rewrite came and it was worse than the first version, a tactic I found common to almost all male writers whose genius I had the audacity to second-guess.”
“Before I can second-guess myself into inaction I push the door of the car open and stride up to the front door, rapping on it with my knuckles, rap rap rap a steady rap.”
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