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[sahyd-l] /ˈsaɪd l/
verb (used without object), sidled, sidling.
to move sideways or obliquely.
to edge along furtively.
a sidling movement.
Origin of sidle
1690-1700; back formation from sideling (earlier spelling sidling misconstrued as present participle of a verb ending in -le)
Related forms
sidlingly, adverb
unsidling, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for sidle
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I was annoyed therefore to see the other end of Elizabeth travel round the doorway and sidle into the room.

  • In the midst of her satisfaction she continued to sidle, and at last the cause was disclosed.

    A Room With A View E. M. Forster
  • The track lay smooth before them, and the horses began to sidle and dance directly their hoofs touched it.

    The Invader Margaret L. Woods
  • "You'll admit it is a tradition," said Saulisbury, glad of a chance to sidle away.

    Wayside Courtships Hamlin Garland
  • He did not so much "go over to Rome" as sidle away from the Church of England.

    Painted Windows Harold Begbie
British Dictionary definitions for sidle


verb (intransitive)
to move in a furtive or stealthy manner; edge along
to move along sideways
a sideways movement
Derived Forms
sidler, noun
Word Origin
C17: back formation from obsolete sideling sideways
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 sidle

"to move or go sideways," 1690s, back-formation from obsolete Middle English sidlyng (adv.) "obliquely, sideways; aslant; laterally" (early 14c., perhaps in Old English), from side (n.) + adverbial suffix -ling; altered on analogy of verbs ending in -le. Related: Sidled; sidling. Old English had sidlingweg (n.) "sidelong-way, oblique road."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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