from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of inferior or mediocre quality or value.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. a British ship-of-the-line sail warship that has 90 to 98 guns dispersed onto 3 gundecks.
  • adj. Of mediocre quality, not first class.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of the second size, rank, quality, or value.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Of the second rate, as to size, rank, quality, importance, or estimation: as, a second-rate ship; second-rate works; a second-rate actor.
  • n. Anything that is rated or classed as second.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. moderate to inferior in quality


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Georgia did remember, however, that being labeled a woman artist in the twenties was synonymous with being called second-rate.

    Portrait of An Artist

  • Or will we saddle our kids with debt, second-rate jobs, impossible interest rates, and a falling standard of living?

    The Good Fight

  • "We can make culture and journalism into second-rate activities, and spend centuries remixing the detritus of the 1960s and other eras from before individual creativity went out of fashion," he complains.

    Maria Rodale: You Are Not a Gadget... Are You?

  • Some of the biggest housing market blow-ups came courtesy of second-rate lenders that sold the loans to other borrowers—with most of the riskiest stuff backed by the U.S. government.

    'Skin in the Game'

  • No better man to teach Murray what it's going to take to win in this era of uncommon greatness, where even the big, fast and powerful Berdyches of the world are second-rate.

    Tennis's Usual Suspects Continue to Dominate

  • Baier seemed more like a second-rate hack than a “professional” journalist.

    Think Progress » VIDEO: Bret Baier Interviewing Obama Vs. Bret Baier Interviewing Bush

  • I think it's safe to assume that no matter what changes Sony makes to PSN, it's going to remain second-rate to XBL throughout both consoles lifespans.

    Je Regrette

  • Oslo remains marked by second-rate brick structures, souvenirs of its centuries-long status as a dependent of the Danish and Swedish crowns.

    Scanning Norway's Barcode Horizon

  • Now he provides an efficient staging of a second-rate Broadway concoction, which depends for its draw on Robert Lindsay and Joanna Lumley camping and vamping, and – particularly in Lumley's case – cocking a knowing eye towards their on-screen persona.

    Reasons to Be Pretty; Juno and the Paycock; The Lion in Winter – review

  • Kuhio Avenue, on the back side of the International Marketplace, off the beaten path, was home to striving, second-rate businesses trying to separate the tourists from their money.

    Mai Tai Daze


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