What does the idiom "on second thoughts" mean?

on second thoughts is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression on second thoughts is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "on second thoughts"


The idiom ‘on second thoughts’ is used to express a change of opinion or idea, usually caused by a reconsideration of the evidence or arguments available. It implies that someone has had time to reflect on their initial thought or idea, before deciding upon a different conclusion.


The first use of the phrase comes from Middle English, when it was used as ‘on second thought’. The phrase has been around since the 15th century and can be found in literature such as ‘The Divine Comedy’, written in 1372. The idiom is thought to have been adapted from the Latin phrase secundis consiliis, which means ‘with the help of a second consultation’.


The phrase ‘on second thoughts’ is typically used to suggest a change of opinion. It is often used in situations where someone has taken time to reconsider their view, before deciding upon a different conclusion. It is also used to suggest a new way of looking at something, or to introduce a fresh perspective on a topic.

Example Sentences

  • On second thoughts, I think I’ll stay home tonight.
  • On second thoughts, perhaps we should wait until tomorrow to make a decision.
  • On second thoughts, maybe you should come with me to the meeting.
  • On second thoughts, I don’t think that’s the best way to solve the problem.

The meanings of the words in the "on second thoughts" idiom

The universal role of idioms

"Kill two birds with one stone" is an English idiom that means to accomplish two things with a single action. In French, the similar idiom is "Faire d'une pierre deux coups," which translates to "To kill two birds with one stone." This idiom highlights the efficiency of completing two tasks with one action.


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