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sidetrack

[sahyd-trak] /ˈsaɪdˌtræk/
verb (used with or without object)
1.
to move from the main track to a siding, as a train.
2.
to move or distract from the main subject or course.
noun
3.
any railroad track, other than a siding, auxiliary to the main track.
Origin of sidetrack
1825-1835
An Americanism dating back to 1825-35; side1 + track
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sidetrack
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Would it advance or sidetrack him in the career he had outlined for himself?

    The Octopus Frank Norris
  • You've not been paying proper attention to me; you were off on a sidetrack of your own laying.

    The Brentons Anna Chapin Ray
  • At Wassiwappa, Ray got instructions to sidetrack until Thirty-six went by.

    Song of the Lark Willa Cather
  • You have one talent already; why do you want to follow a sidetrack.

    The Precipice Ivan Goncharov
  • We became attached to this sidetrack, and for a long time had the sole use of it.

  • sidetrack your emotions if you can and stick to the mainline!

    Cleek of Scotland Yard

    Thomas W. Hanshew
  • For the army London is on a sidetrack—is an out of the way place.

  • That's the kind of a sidetrack the Stars and Stripes would switch you onto.'

    Roads of Destiny

    O. Henry
  • He could not help smiling a little at the adroit way she tried to sidetrack him, even though he was angry at her.

    The Yukon Trail

    William MacLeod Raine
British Dictionary definitions for sidetrack

sidetrack

/ˈsaɪdˌtræk/
verb
1.
to distract or be distracted from a main subject or topic
noun
2.
(US & Canadian) a railway siding
3.
the act or an instance of sidetracking; digression
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 sidetrack
n.

also side-track, "railway siding," 1835, from side (adj.) + track (n.). The verb meaning "to move (a train car) onto a sidetrack" is from 1874; figurative sense of "to divert from the main purpose" is attested from 1881. Related: Sidetracked.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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16
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