Definition of third-hand in English:


Syllabification: third-hand
(also thirdhand)


  • 1(Of goods) having had two previous owners: a thirdhand dinner suit
    More example sentences
    • Mine was a dreadful affair with third-hand badges badly sewn on and once I was summoned to see Miss Gillies about it.
    • It might be third-hand with 135,000 miles on the clock, but it's still a nice car.
    • Brad looked around his extremely messy apartment, filled with third-hand furniture, pizza boxes and scattered personal items.
  • 2(Of information) acquired from or via several intermediate sources and consequently not authoritative or reliable: the accounts are third-hand, told years after the event
    More example sentences
    • It is not an easy task; we often hear second or third-hand information.
    • We listen to third-hand hearsay about the woman in the flat below or some friend of a friend currently manning the hospital barricades
    • Meanwhile they continue to publish more third-hand hearsay from the British insurance industry.


Back to top  
  • From or via several intermediate sources: I heard about the case thirdhand
    More example sentences
    • This comes to me third-hand, and its veracity is possibly a bit suspect.
    • Two days were set aside to hear from journalists who had not been present on the day but had reported the story third-hand.
    • Most got their ‘evidence’ about Africans and non-Europeans second and third-hand from the actual conquerors and enslavers.

More definitions of third-hand

Definition of third-hand in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day mage
Pronunciation: meɪdʒ
a magician or learned person