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sideman

[sahyd-man, -muh n]
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noun, plural side·men [sahyd-men, -muh n] /ˈsaɪdˌmɛn, -mən/.
  1. an instrumentalist in a band or orchestra.
  2. an instrumentalist supporting a soloist or a principal performer.
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Origin of sideman

First recorded in 1560–70; side1 + man1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for sideman

sideman

noun plural -men
  1. a member of a dance band or a jazz group other than the leader
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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

Word Origin and History for sideman

n.

"supporting musician," 1936, from side (adj.) + man (n.). Earlier it meant "assistant to a church warden" (1560s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper