for a second

When you say that something happened "for a second", this is an exaggeration that means "for a short length of time".

She stared back at him for a second, then looked away.

Let me think for a second.

"A second" is used this way in casual spoken English. When you use "a second" in more formal situations, people may think that you literally mean 1/60th of a minute.

This phrase appears in these lessons: