county town of Berkshire, Old English Readingum (c. 900), "(Settlement of) the family or followers of a man called *Read."
Middle English reding, from Old English ræding, "a reading, the act or process of reading" either silent or aloud, also "that which is read, a passage or lesson," a verbal noun to go with read (v.).
The meaning "interpretation, act of interpreting" is from mid-14c. (in reference to dreams). Meaning "a form of a passage of text" is from 1550s; that of "a public event featuring reading aloud" is from 1787. Reading-desk, one adapted for use in reading, is by 1703; reading-glass is from 1660s. Reading-room, one furnished with newspapers, periodicals, etc., is from 1759.
"one-sixtieth of a minute of degree," also "sixtieth part of a minute of time," late 14c. in geometry and astronomy, seconde, from Old French seconde, from Medieval Latin secunda, short for secunda pars minuta "second diminished part," the result of the second division of the hour by sixty (the first being the "prime minute," now simply the minute), from Latin secunda, fem. of secundus "following, next in time or order" (see second (adj.)).
The second hand of a clock, the pointer indicating the passage of seconds, is attested by 1759.
early 14c., "the one next in order after another or the first," from second (adj.). Also compare Middle English seconde (n.) "one who is second in authority." As "assistant, supporter," especially "one who attends a principal in a duel or pugilistic contest," by 1580s (from second (v.)). As short for second base in U.S. baseball, by 1861.
c. 1300, "next in order, place, time, etc., after the first; an ordinal numeral; being one of two equal parts into which a whole is regarded as divided;" from Old French second, secont, and directly from Latin secundus "following, next in time or order," also "secondary, subordinate, inferior," from PIE *sekw-ondo-, pariticipal form of root *sekw- "to follow."
It replaced native other in this sense because of the ambiguity of the earlier word. From late 14c. as "other, another" (as in "No Second Troy"), also "next in order in rank, quality, or importance."
Second sight is from 1610s; it presumably implies a second way of seeing in addition to the physical sight with the eyes, but it is etymologically perverse as it means the sight of events before, not after, they occur or are revealed. Second-degree in a general sense of "next to lowest on a scale of four" in Arostotelian qualities is from Middle English; in reference to burns, by 1890. Second fiddle is attested by 1809:
A metaphor borrowed from a musical performer who plays the second or counter to one who plays the first or the "air." [Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," 1848]
Latin secundus, tertius, etc. appended to personal names in English schools (to designate boys having the same surname by order of seniority) is attested by 1826s.
1580s, "to support or represent (someone)," especially in a duel, pugilistic contest, etc., from French seconder, from Latin secundare "to assist, accommodate, direct favorably" (source also of Spanish segundar), from secundus "assisting, favorable; following, next in time or order" (see second (adj.)). The parliamentary sense is recorded by 1590s: "formally to express approval and support of (a motion, etc.) as a necessary preliminary to further discussion." Related: Seconded; seconding.
late 14c., from Latin secundum naturam "according to nature" (Augustine, Macrobius, etc.), literally "following nature" (see second (adj.)). A term from medieval Aristotelian philosophy, contrasted to phenomena that were super naturam ("above nature," such as God's grace), extra naturam ("outside nature"), supra naturam ("beyond nature," such as miracles), contra naturam "against nature," etc.
"of a second class or group," 1660s, originally of ships, "of the second rate as to size, strength, etc.;" see rate (n.). Related: Second-rater.