Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[sahyd-lahyn] /ˈsaɪdˌlaɪn/
a line at the side of something.
a business or activity pursued in addition to one's primary business; a second occupation.
an additional or auxiliary line of goods:
a grocery store with a sideline of household furnishings.
  1. either of the two lines defining the side boundaries of a field or court.
  2. sidelines, the area immediately beyond either sideline, where the substitute players sit.
sidelines, the position or point of view taken by a person who observes an activity or situation but does not directly participate in it.
verb (used with object), sidelined, sidelining.
to render incapable of participation, especially in anything involving vigorous, physical action, as a sport:
An injury to his throwing arm sidelined the quarterback for two weeks.
Origin of sideline
An Americanism dating back to 1685-95; side1 + line1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for sideline
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It seemed that the sideline of mountain-tops had a little light on them.

    Wandl the Invader Raymond King Cummings
  • Even then he had enough surplus energy to run a sideline in literature.

    A Circuit Rider's Wife

    Corra Harris
  • The midnight hours he spent in the pineal gland were only a sideline of his work.

    The Brain Alexander Blade
  • An elementary school teacher who taught music as a sideline, Gladys Thompson, organized an orchestra about 1928.

    Frying Pan Farm Elizabeth Brown Pryor
  • The business flourished and some one advised my friend that he should put in popcorn as a sideline.

British Dictionary definitions for sideline


(sport) a line that marks the side boundary of a playing area
a subsidiary interest or source of income
an auxiliary business activity or line of merchandise
verb (transitive)
to prevent (a player) from taking part in a game
to prevent (a person) from pursuing a particular activity, operation, career, etc
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for sideline

also side-line, "line on the side of a fish," 1768; "lines marking the limits of playing area" (on a football field, etc.), 1862, from side (adj.) + line (q.v.). Meaning "course of business aside from one's regular occupation" is from 1890. Railway sense is from 1890. The figurative sense of "position removed from active participation" is attested from 1934 (from the railway sense or from sports, because players who are not in the game stand along the sidelines). The verb meaning "put out of play" is from 1945. Related: Sidelined; sidelining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for sideline

Word Value for sideline

Scrabble Words With Friends