Definition of third-hand in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌTHərdˈhand/
(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.


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.
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.