See more synonyms for beside on
  1. by or at the side of; near: Sit down beside me.
  2. compared with: Beside him other writers seem amateurish.
  3. apart from; not connected with: beside the point; beside the question.
  4. besides(defs 4, 5).
  1. along the side of something: The family rode in the carriage, and the dog ran along beside.
  2. besides(def 2).
  1. beside oneself, almost out of one's senses from a strong emotion, as from joy, delight, anger, fear, or grief: He was beside himself with rage when the train left without him.

Origin of beside

before 1000; Middle English; earlier bi-siden, Old English bī sīdan, be sīdan; see be-, side1
Can be confusedbeside besides (see usage note at the current entry)

Usage note

For the prepositional meanings “over and above, in addition to” and “except” besides is preferred, especially in edited writing: Besides these honors he received a sum of money. We heard no other sound besides the breaking surf. However, beside sometimes occurs with these meanings as well. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for beside oneself


  1. next to; at, by, or to the side of
  2. as compared with
  3. away from; wide ofbeside the point
  4. archaic besides
  5. beside oneself (postpositive often foll by with) overwhelmed; overwroughtbeside oneself with grief
  1. at, by, to, or along the side of something or someone

Word Origin for beside

Old English be sīdan; see by, side
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 beside oneself



Old English be sidan "by the side of" (only as two words), from be- + sidan dative of side (n.). By 1200, formed as one word and used as both adverb and preposition. The alternative Middle English meaning "outside" led to the sense preserved in beside oneself "out of one's wits" (late 15c.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with beside oneself

beside oneself

In a state of extreme agitation or excitement, as in She was beside herself when she found she'd lost her ring, or Peter was beside himself with joy—he'd won the poetry award. This phrase appears in the New Testament (Acts 26:24): “Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning makes thee mad.” [Late 1400s]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.