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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

second string

noun
1.
Sports. the squad of players available either individually or as a team to replace or relieve those who start a game.
2.
a secondary position, status, or group, as in a level of corporate management.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45 in sense “backup, resort,” alluding to a second bowstring; 1860-65, applied to racehorses; 1950-55, to sports teams
Related forms
second-string, adjective
second-stringer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for second stringer

second string

noun
1.
(mainly Brit) an alternative course of action, etc, intended to come into use should the first fail (esp in the phrase a second string to one's bow)
2.
a substitute or reserve player or team
adjective (mainly US & Canadian)
3.
(sport)
  1. being a substitute player
  2. being the second-ranked player of a team in an individual sport
4.
second-rate or inferior
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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9
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