Open main menu
See also: second guess

Contents

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From trying to improve with a second stab.

  This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.
Particularly: “Origins, derivations, history and antecedents.”

PronunciationEdit

  • (file)

VerbEdit

second-guess (third-person singular simple present second-guesses, present participle second-guessing, simple past and past participle second-guessed)

  1. (idiomatic, US) to vet or evaluate; to criticize or correct, often by hindsight, by presuming to have a better idea, method, etc.
    • 1946, someone, somewhere:
      I suppose anybody who keeps a diary and subsequently goes over it for publication has a tremendous temptation to second-guess and make himself look like an oracle.
    • 1957, United States Senate proceedings:
      As a practical matter, a fertilizer company could not afford to second-guess the Federal Trade Commission or a jury in a triple damage case on so obscure a point.
    • 1959, U.S. Court of Appeals proceedings:
      Public administration would be hamstrung if courts were free to second-guess reasonable administrative decisions.
    • 1995, someone, somewhere:
      MacGregor avoided this trap by refusing to give managers reporting to him the opportunity to second-guess the solution he would be most likely to choose.
    • 2003, Editing Today:
      If you suspect you've stepped over the line, ask a few other copy editors to second-guess your headline.
    Please don't try to second-guess the procedure that we have already refined and adopted.
    Once she began listening to her instincts and didn't second-guess herself the entire time, her artwork improved noticeably.

SynonymsEdit

Related termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

ReferencesEdit