- a secondary role: to play second fiddle to another person.
- a person serving in a subsidiary capacity, especially to one immediately superior.
Origin of second fiddle
First recorded in 1825–35
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for second fiddle
Mrs. Fox-Darriel found the rle of second-fiddle a little dull; still, it was well worth while to play it.The Confounding of Camelia
Anne Douglas Sedgwick
Bill declined to play the second-fiddle parts; he took himself out of Mary's orchestra entirely.Fore!
Charles Emmett Van Loan
He found it hard to believe a man of my sort, so self-assured, would stand the truth from a man of his second-fiddle sort.The Deluge
David Graham Phillips
- the second violin in a string quartet or one of the second violins in an orchestra
- the musical part assigned to such an instrument
- a secondary status
- a person who has a secondary status
Idioms and Phrases with second fiddle
see play second fiddle.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.