verb (used without object), side·stepped, side·step·ping.

to step to one side.
to evade or avoid a decision, problem, or the like.

verb (used with object), side·stepped, side·step·ping.

to avoid or dodge by stepping aside.
to evade or avoid (a decision, problem, or the like).

Nearby words

  1. sidesman,
  2. sidespin,
  3. sidesplitter,
  4. sidesplitting,
  5. sidesplittingly,
  6. sidestream smoke,
  7. sidestroke,
  8. sideswipe,
  9. sidetrack,
  10. sidewalk

Origin of sidestep

An Americanism dating back to 1900–05

Related formsside·step·per, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for side-stepping

British Dictionary definitions for side-stepping


verb -steps, -stepping or -stepped

to step aside from or out of the way of (something)
(tr) to dodge or circumvent

noun side step

a movement to one side, as in dancing, boxing, etc
Derived Formssidestepper, noun

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 side-stepping



also side-step, 1757, "a stepping to the side" (originally in military drill), from side (adj.) + step (n.). The verb is recorded from 1895; the figurative sense is attested from 1900.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper