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90s Slang You Should Know


[sahyd-trak] /ˈsaɪdˌtræk/
verb (used with or without object)
to move from the main track to a siding, as a train.
to move or distract from the main subject or course.
any railroad track, other than a siding, auxiliary to the main track.
Origin of sidetrack
An Americanism dating back to 1825-35; side1 + track 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
  • That's the kind of a sidetrack the Stars and Stripes would switch you onto.'

    Roads of Destiny O. Henry
  • 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.

  • It seems to be one big boneyard; I saw cars of bones on every sidetrack as I came through.

    Trail's End George W. Ogden
  • 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
  • The little girl had started a train of thought in Mr. Parlows mind that he could not sidetrack.

    Carolyn of the Corners Ruth Belmore Endicott
  • As the train was standing on the sidetrack at Watertown Junction it created considerable curiosity.

    Peck's Sunshine George W. Peck
  • He'll be coming around to offer to sidetrack that legislation if you'll let him build his railroad.

    Scattergood Baines Clarence Budington Kelland
British Dictionary definitions for sidetrack


to distract or be distracted from a main subject or topic
(US & Canadian) a railway siding
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

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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