Next to the best; of second quality; best except one.
The Century Dictionary (Public Domain)
Use "second-best" in a sentence
"But the consequence was that the so-called second-best advocate in Rome, his cordial greeting dead on his lips, was left staring at the retreating back of the so-called best with such an intensity of loathing I was surprised Hortensius did not start rubbing at the skin between his shoulder blades."
"It was Indiana's second-best scoring effort of the season, behind its NBA season-high, 144-point outburst Nov. 9 against Denver."
"But should the best way be blocked, while the enemy draws nearer, then someone will need to find the second-best way."