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Alternative forms[edit]


side +‎ line


  • IPA(key): /ˈsaɪdlaɪn/
  • (file)


sideline (plural sidelines)

  1. A line at the side of something.
  2. Something that is additional or extra or that exists around the edges or margins of a main item.
    She started the business as a sideline to her regular work and it ended up becoming the greater source of income.
    Soup need not be just a sideline to a meal; if you like, it can be the main course.
  3. A line for hobbling an animal by connecting the fore and the hind feet of the same side.
  4. (sports) A line defining the side boundary of a playing field. Used in Canadian football, field lacrosse and basketball.
    Synonym: (in rugby union, rugby league and association football) touchline
  5. (sports, usually in the plural) The area outside the playing field beyond each sideline.
    The coach stood on the sidelines and bellowed commands at the team.
  6. (figuratively) The outside or perimeter of any activity.
    to relegate to the sidelines
    She installed the whole fixture while he simply watched from the sidelines.
    • 2023 October 3, Jason Horowitz, “Conservative Catholics, Relegated to Sidelines, Denounce Papal Gathering”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Conservative Catholics, Relegated to Sidelines, Denounce Papal Gathering [title]
  7. (Canada) A secondary road, especially a byroad at right angles to a main road.
  8. (Philippines) A side hustle.

Derived terms[edit]



sideline (third-person singular simple present sidelines, present participle sidelining, simple past and past participle sidelined)

  1. (sports, transitive) To place on the sidelines; to bench or to keep someone out of play.
    The coach sidelined the player until he regained his strength.
    • 2017 November 14, Phil McNulty, “England 0-0 Brazil”, in BBC News[2]:
      Gomez got his chance with Gary Cahill sidelined and took it superbly with an assured performance as part of a three-man defence Southgate now looks certain to use at the World Cup.
  2. (figurative, transitive) To remove or keep out of circulation or out of the focus.
    The illness sidelined him for weeks.
    • 2017 August 13, Brandon Nowalk, “Oldtown offers one last game-changing secret as Game Of Thrones goes behind enemy lines (newbies)”, in The Onion AV Club[3]:
      Subplots that might have been fun to explore were relegated or eventually sidelined altogether in the case of characters like Gendry, who disappeared for years and finally resurfaces as a blacksmith in King’s Landing, literally waiting for the call to his hero’s journey.
    • 2022 January 12, David Clough, “From Germany with love: a Warship retrospective”, in RAIL, number 948, page 49:
      During 1971-72, spare Type 4s on other regions enabled the whole class to be sidelined, with Class 43s going first.
    • 2023 June 14, Pjotr Sauer, Andrew Roth, “Putin sides with military chiefs over placing Wagner under direct control”, in The Guardian[4], →ISSN:
      Prigozhin’s exclusion from Ukraine would sideline one of Russia’s most recognisable war figures.