Meaning of second-degree in English:


Pronunciation /ˌsɛk(ə)nddɪˈɡriː/


  • 1Medicine
    Denoting burns that cause blistering but not permanent scars.

    ‘Do not remove dead burned tissue and do not open blisters that may form, particularly in second-degree burns.’
    • ‘Natural color may return to superficial burns and some second-degree burns in several months.’
    • ‘The chemical burned through the first layer of skin and the resulting second-degree burn covers an area more than 2 to 3 inches in diameter.’
    • ‘His whole face is blistered and he has first and second-degree burns to his face which may leave scarring.’
    • ‘He wound up spending a month in the hospital being treated for second-degree burns on his hands and arms.’
  • 2mainly North American Law
    Denoting a category of a crime, especially murder, that is less serious than a first-degree crime.

    ‘His behavior was in no way accidental, and he was in fact subsequently convicted of second-degree murder for killing Fansler.’
    • ‘The state jury acquitted Nelson of all charges, including second-degree murder.’
    • ‘Chambers, who was charged with second-degree murder, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter, a lesser, but still very serious charge.’
    • ‘The lesser charges include first-degree and second-degree manslaughter as well as criminally negligent homicide.’
    • ‘Police have arrested Lutchman, 43, and charged him with second-degree murder.’