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[sahyd-step] /ˈsaɪdˌstɛp/
verb (used without object), sidestepped, sidestepping.
to step to one side.
to evade or avoid a decision, problem, or the like.
verb (used with object), sidestepped, sidestepping.
to avoid or dodge by stepping aside.
to evade or avoid (a decision, problem, or the like).
Origin of sidestep
An Americanism dating back to 1900-05
Related forms
sidestepper, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for side-stepping
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Lennon barely saved himself by the quickest of side-stepping.

    Bloom of Cactus Robert Ames Bennet
  • "I just came from the camp," said Tom, side-stepping the real object of his trip.

    Tom Slade with the Colors Percy K. Fitzhugh
  • "I be willing to try," said Uncle, perceiving that he had room for side-stepping.

    The Soul of Susan Yellam

    Horace Annesley Vachell
  • So I just wanted to say there's no side-stepping, no four-flushing, at this end of the trip!

    Never-Fail Blake

    Arthur Stringer
  • He can evade it by side-stepping, by jumping over, or by dragging another fellow into it.

    Boy Scouts Handbook Boy Scouts of America
  • side-stepping, now crouching, now dodging to this side and that, they fought their strange duel.

  • I could no longer offer my tender years as an excuse for side-stepping a big opportunity.

    The Fifth Wheel Olive Higgins Prouty
  • He had told me that he was "side-stepping" the lunch of dried lima beans and creamed cod-fish.

    My Actor-Husband Anonymous
  • I avoided him by ducking and side-stepping, but he kept boring in, still smiling disagreeably.

    Paradise Garden George Gibbs
British Dictionary definitions for side-stepping


verb -steps, -stepping, -stepped
to step aside from or out of the way of (something)
(transitive) to dodge or circumvent
a movement to one side, as in dancing, boxing, etc
Derived Forms
sidestepper, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for side-stepping



also side-step, 1757, "a stepping to the side" (originally in military drill), from side (adj.) + step (n.). The verb is recorded from 1895; the figurative sense is attested from 1900.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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