take a back seat

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From take a seat and back seat.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

take a back seat (third-person singular simple present takes a back seat, present participle taking a back seat, simple past took a back seat, past participle taken a back seat)

  1. (idiomatic) To adopt a position of noninvolvement.
    The new chairman is happy to take a back seat when it comes to day-to-day operations.
  2. (idiomatic) To be second to someone or something; to be less important or have a lower priority.
    • 2017 January 14, “Thailand's new king rejects the army's proposed constitution”, in The Economist[1]:
      The bluntness of King Vajiralongkorn's intervention—and the determination it reveals to resist relatively small checks on royal power—is both a snub to the junta and a worry for democrats, some of whom had dared hope that the new king might be happy to take a back seat in public life.
    • 2004, My Life by Bill Clinton
      But as with most kids, politics took a backseat to daily life.

See also[edit]